Don’t toss your glasses now that the Great American Eclipse is over.
If you’re one of the people who scrambled (and splurged) for special solar eclipse glasses before Monday's eclipse, rather than opting for the DIY pinhole viewer route, you might be asking yourself what to do with your newfound souvenir.
One option is to hoard your glasses until 2024, when the next eclipse will be visible within the United States. However, that would mean keeping track of a small, disposable item for seven years — and most people probably don’t have the discipline to do this.
An even better option is to donate your eclipse glasses to Astronomers Without Borders, a nonprofit organization that teaches astronomy around the world. Donations to the group will be redistributed to children in South America and Asia for the 2019 total solar eclipse and used in schools that can't afford to provide glasses for their students.
“Many schools in developing countries don’t have resources for science education, and this is a rare opportunity that inspires students and teachers and shows them that science is something they can do. It can be a ray of hope for young people who don’t otherwise see a path to a career like this,” Astronomers Without Borders president Mike Simmons told Gizmodo.
At the moment, donation locations are still not specified, but the program will be announcing them in the coming days. News on the program can be found by following Astronomers Without Borders on Facebook and Twitter, or by checking their website.
Right now, you can mail your glasses to their corporate sponsor, Explore Scientific, at 621 Madison Street in Springdale, Arkansas.
Everyone should be able to enjoy the stunning beauty of the solar eclipse — and you can always rush order a new pair during the next celestial event.