On Monday, August 21st, millions of people across the United States will turn out to see the first total eclipse visible from the continental U.S. since 1979. Some people have been preparing for months. They have eclipse glasses and solar filters on their telescopes and are traveling hours to the "path of totality." Others (like myself) are somewhat, uh, less prepared. Maybe you were procrastinating, or just don't follow celestial events that closely. In any case, fear not! Procrastinators can enjoy the eclipse as well, as long as you know where to buy eclipse glasses at the last minute.
First of all, it's important to note that if you plan on watching the eclipse, you absolutely need some form of solar filter. Although looking directly at the sun during an eclipse is unlikely to cause total blindness, the sun's rays can kill cells is your retina, resulting in spotty or blurred vision that can last for a few weeks, or the rest of your life.
If you get eclipse glasses, it's also important to make sure that they have a label indicating that they are ISO 12312-2 compliant. Other glasses aren't strong enough, and can still allow harmful rays to reach your eyes.
Eclipse glasses have been selling out fast, but there are still some places you can buy last minute equipment to safely view the Great Eclipse. And if you can't get any eclipse glasses in time, there are other ways to view the event on Monday.
Here are some places you can still buy solar filter equipment if you've been putting it off.