In a Wednesday news release, the Monroe/Randolph Regional Office of Education is advising the public that despite an Amazon recall, the solar eclipse glasses distributed to area schools are NASA-approved.
The glasses, which are provided by Regional Superintendent of Schools Kelton Davis, were manufactured in the United States by the Rainbow Symphony.
"We were able to get great pricing by piggy-backing on the order that SIU (Carbondale) made with their massive quantities and wanted to be assured our students would have fully certified glasses safe for viewing the sun," Davis said in the release. "Thanks to sponsorships by First National Bank of Steeleville and First National Bank of Waterloo, our schools received these at no cost."
The NASA website, https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety, provides instructions and resources for the solar eclipse. Among the recommendations are:
• Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
• Always supervise children using solar filters.
• Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter -- do not remove it while looking at the sun.
• Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
• Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer -- the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
• Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
• If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun's bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality; then as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
• Outside the path of totality you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.
• If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
The eclipse will begin in our region as early as 11:49 am. Depending on the location the total eclipse will last between one minute and 44 seconds and two minutes and 40 seconds.