Eclipse glasses selling out at most places in Nashville area

61h4esS1MSL._SL1394_If you haven’t already gotten your special glassed to look up at the sun when it eclipses this month, you’d better hurry.

With the Great American Solar Eclipse just a week away, it is becoming harder and harder in Nashville to get the eclipse glasses that astronomers say are necessary for safe viewing.

With the suppliers for the safety eclipse glasses rapidly running out of the paper glasses that filter the light, local purveyors can’t keep up with the demand.

On the big day (August 21), some viewers may have to share glasses and take turns looking at the sun as they enjoy this once in a lifetime celestial event.

“People are not going to stare at it for an hour and a half anyway,” said Rocky Alvey, director of Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory. He explained that eclipse viewers would typically put the glasses on and look at the sun for 5-10 seconds and hand them over to someone else to look, and then put them back on several minutes later as the eclipse unfolds.

Passing a pair of glasses around for direct viewing sounds like a workable plan for groups that may not be able to get enough glasses for everybody to have their own pair of the special shades.

A quick survey on Monday of some of the places that last week were promoting their eclipse glasses, showed most in short supply, and some like Kroger and the Tennessee State Museum, have sold out and are not being resupplied.

“They are going quick. We sold 2,500 between Saturday and Sunday,” said Bill Hudgens at the Bellevue Ace Hardware. After people learned that some of online glasses that were not safe, they started flocking in and just about cleaned out his store and the Belle Meade Ace store, Hudgens said. But, he said, both stores have about 150 pairs left and a shipment of several thousand coming this week.

A quick survey on Monday of some of the places that last week were promoting their eclipse glasses, showed most in short supply, and some like Kroger and the Tennessee State Museum, have sold out and are not being resupplied.

Kroger spokeswoman Melissa Eads said: “A few stores still have some, but the majority are sold out” and added that Kroger’s supplier is out, so no more are on the way.

Looking directly at the sun can cause temporary or permanent damage to the retinas. The most dangerous time during an eclipse is when the sun is not fully blocked by the moon, during what’s known as a partial solar eclipse.

For people here in the path of the total eclipse the roughly two-minute period of totality is the only time to safely view the sun, without eclipse glasses or filters. Viewers should keep the eclipse glasses the entire time they are watching both before and after the totality event.