Don't be blindsided: the glasses NASA recommends for watching eclipse

The watch party at Spanish Fort's library begins at noon. (WPMI)

If you're planning on watching the eclipse in less than two weeks, you need to make sure you have the right eye protection. Don't just buy the first pair of eclipse glasses you find online. Tonight, the ones NASA recommends and where you can get them.

While we won't see the total eclipse in South Alabama, the views August 21st will still be spectacular says Spanish Fort Library Director Tracy Cole.

"I'm excited I'm very excited that everybody will be here," said Cole.

Spanish Fort's library is the only one in Mobile and Baldwin County that won a NASA grant for an eclipse watch party, which includes 200 NASA approved solar eclipse glasses.

"We'll be giving out glasses while supplies last," said Cole.

"When it comes to protective eyewear, we need to think welding helmet, not Costa Del Mar," said Dr. David Helton.

Helton is an optometrist and says eclipse glasses are a must. Looking at the eclipse could cause permanent damage to your eyes.

"What could be permanent damage to the eye and form solar retinopathy, permanent macular damage that will not heal," said Helton.

NASA recommends Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE-17 brands and says the glasses also need to have ISO # 12312-2.

"They need to have that certification stamped on it somewhere because there is fake eye wear circulating out there," said Helton.

Neither counterfeits nor Costas or any sunglasses will cut it and protecting your vision is priority one when planning for this awe-inspiring event.

The watch party at Spanish Fort's library begins at noon. The peak will be at 1:28 pm. Again, only the first two hundred people who come will get the free glasses.

To view a list of reputable vendors click here.

NASA safety advice click here.

To find other library watch parties click here.