Good Question: What can you do with your used eclipse glasses?


COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - The great total solar eclipse of 2017 came, we saw and then it went.

If you followed the advice of experts, you wore the proper eclipse glasses to join thousands in the Midlands to view what, for some, is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

So what do you do with those glasses now?

It's a good question and a local group has pretty good answer.

"The actual experience of being there in the actual moment and watching it first-hand, it was just, really life-changing," said Alex Mowery of the Midlands Astronomy Club.

The club now wants to pay that experience forward, so don't throw your glasses away.

They can use them to help teach local schoolchildren about the sun and science.

"I think it just makes us all very humbled to see an astronomical event that only us on earth can see," said Amanda Holland, also of the Midlands Astronomy Club.

The group does regular outreach programs with local schools and for anyone who's interested. And those glasses can come in handy, so they're asking people to donate their used glasses.

"The glasses are good for viewing everyday events. They're not just good for an eclipse," said Mowery.

The astronomy club says those glasses can do more than make a difference locally. Some of them can also be used for the next solar eclipse.

The club will send any excess donations to Astronomers Without Borders. That group is taking glasses for children in other countries so they too, can witness a phenomenon.

Astronomers Without Borders is setting up a program that will redistribute glasses to schools in Asia and South America, where there will be solar eclipses in 2019.

"We're giving those glasses another life to experience the same thing over again," said Holland.

All donated glasses will be inspected for safety. If the Midlands Astronomy Club finds any to be damaged or unsafe they'll be used for educational purposes other than direct viewing of the sun.

The Midlands Astronomy Club is taking donations at the following locations:

Richland Library Main Branch - 1431 Assembly St, Columbia

Richland Library Cooper - 5317 North Trenholm Road Columbia

Richland Library Ballentine - 1200 Dutch Fork Rd. Irmo

Richland Library Blythewood - 218 McNulty Street Blythewood

Richland Library Eastover - 608 Main Street Eastover

Richland Library Sandhills - 763 Fashion Drive Columbia

Richland LIbrary Southeast - 7421 Garners Ferry Road Cola

Jeep Rogers Family YMCA - 900 Lake Carolina Drive, Cola

Northwest Family YMCA - 1501 Kennerly Road, Irmo, SC

Ballentine Family YMCA - 1079 Dutch Fork Road, Irmo, SC

Downtown Columbia YMCA - 1447 Hampton Street, Columbia

Orangeburg County YMCA - 2550 Saint Matthews Road, Orangeburg

Lexington Family YMCA - 401 YMCA Road, Lexington, SC

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