Arkansans having trouble finding solar safe glasses ahead of the eclipse

Tough search to find eclipse glasses

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - As the countdown to the eclipse continues, many places are running out of their stock of solar safe glasses.

If you've gotten your hands on a pair, consider yourself lucky, but several stores around the Central Arkansas area are completely sold out on the glasses.

But there are other ways you can still watch history unfold Monday.

“The million-dollar question today, in person and on the telephone, has been, 'Do you have any solar eclipse sun glasses?'” said Melody Mathis at the Bass Pro Shop in Little Rock.

With the solar eclipse just days away now, people everywhere are searching for glasses.

“People were asking us for them before we even had a chance to say we had some,” Tameka Lee, with the Main Library, added. “We ran out within a few weeks, they went very quickly,” said Lee.

She said the library stocked up with a few thousand pair and expected their supply to last much longer than it did.

“It's a big deal," she said. "There hasn't been a solar eclipse cross the country like this in decades. People are always excited for things that are very rare.”

Walmart stores in Little Rock, and surrounding areas, said they sold out over the weekend. 

Kroger stores in central Arkansas, who received up to 500 pairs, sold out and don't plan to restock.

Mathis said the Bass Pro Shop emptied out hundreds in just 48 hours.

“The recall came in last Saturday. People are looking for them at the last minute," Mathis said. "It's a phenomenon that won't return for a few years, it's going to be a while.”

But remember to be careful if you purchased your glasses online.

NASA and the American Astronomical Society want to alert people of scams and urge you to make sure they are approved glasses.

“If you do have a pair of these glasses, when removing them be sure to look away when you take them off. You don't want any kind of rays coming for the sun. You will get some damage,” Mathis said.

If you don't have a pair of glasses yet, the Main Library in Little Rock and its Perryville Branch will host watch parties but those events are first come first serve.

And if you want to buy some, check out these NASA certified companies.

  • American Paper Optics
  • Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only)
  • Rainbow Symphony
  • Thousand Oaks Optical
  • TSE 17

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