Will North Texas have enough safety glasses for April’s total solar eclipse? What to know

Jo Trizila started Total Eclipse DFW, an approved Eclipse Viewer Reseller by the American Astronomical Society, after her daughter missed out on an eclipse due to counterfeit glasses.

Dallas-Fort Worth missed totality in the Aug. 21, 2017, solar eclipse, but the celestial event still compelled many in North Texas to step out to witness the rare phenomenon.

“So in 2017, my daughter who went to Richardson elementary school, they had spent weeks and weeks and weeks studying about the total eclipse that was happening and they were so excited,” said Trizila, “The day of the eclipse they discovered that the glasses were not [meet] ISO [standards]... they weren’t safe and the kids could not watch the eclipse.”

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Trizila does not want a repeat of her daughter’s disappointing experience. Not if she can help guide people to the proper equipment.

Total Eclipse DFW is a website dedicated to educating people about how to enjoy the upcoming solar eclipse safely. The website also sells glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standards. Trizila warns there might be a shortage of proper safety eclipse glasses.

“In 2017, there were 12 million people within the Path of Totality. In 2024, this number will more than double to over 32 million. The need for Solar Eclipse glasses is unprecedented,” said Trizila.

With the increase in the number of people with access to the eclipse, Trizila warns that manufacturers might not be able to meet the increased demand for eclipse glasses that meet proper safety standards.

Total solar eclipse: A rare and exciting event in Dallas-Fort Worth

On April 8, many residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will have the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse which will last 2 minutes and 33 seconds. Parts of Texas that fall deep in the path of totality, such as Kerrville, will experience totality for 4 minutes 24 seconds.

It will be the first total solar eclipse visible in Dallas-Fort Worth since 1878 and the last for almost 300 years. The next total solar eclipse visible in North America will occur on Aug. 23, 2044.

Residents looking to spectate safely will need specialized glasses to watch the eclipse. According to NASA the specialized sunglasses needed must comply with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard otherwise spectators risk eye damage.

Buyers should also be wary of counterfeit glasses which would make watching the eclipse unsafe and dangerous.

Here is a list of compliant eclipse glasses companies put together by the AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force (SETF). That same task force explicitly does not recommend Amazon or eBay because of an inability to verify whether all eclipse glasses sold on the website meet the ISO safety standards.

Beware of counterfeit safety solar eclipse glasses

Trizila also warned of counterfeit glasses which ran rampant during the total solar eclipse of 2017. Those looking to watch this eclipse should order their eclipse glasses as soon as possible to ensure they can get glasses that meet international safety standards.

“While we would love people to purchase from Total Eclipse DFW — that’s not our goal.,” said Trizila, “Our goal is to make sure people are SAFE. As long as you purchase from an AAS-approved source, you are good.”

Trizila expressed excitement that this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle would be visible from the metroplex.

“I have not talked to a single person and I have talked to hundreds of people that have been through a total solar eclipse and every single time the same reaction happens, it is awesome,” said Trizila, “People get goosebumps talking about their experience, it is truly that spectacular and we have it for free right here in DFW.”