The only one way to safely view a partial or total eclipse is with certified solar glasses - simple sunglasses are not enough.
"It's so risky for people to look at the sun even for brief periods of time because you can cause permanent damage to the retina - we call it solar retinopathy and it's really very close to burning a hole in the retina", said Van Gelder.
"Apparently, the market's being flooded by counterfeits and fakes", Fienberg says. It says "Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier of your order that they sourced the item from a recommended manufacturer, We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse". "All we know is that because they haven't been tested, we can't say for sure that they're safe".
Also, do not look at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device - even using your eclipse glasses or viewer. "You want to throw them away and replace them with good ones".
Chipps' email came on the heels of Friday's announcement by Dr. Jeff Pape of Authier Miller Pape Eye Care in Norfolk that the eclipse glasses it had distributed might be counterfeit and not safe for people to use during the eclipse. "Then, you look again in a few minutes and you'll see that the eclipse has progressed a bit".
The eclipse will take place on August 21st.