Think twice before tossing out those solar eclipse glasses

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Millions of Americans were left in amazement after seeing Monday’s great solar eclipse. But now, they’re left with solar eclipse glasses. So what do you do? Throw them away?

KSN has received mixed advice. Some optometrists say they expire after three years while other experts say, if taken care of, they last much longer.

But first, what did you think of that eclipse?

“It was a lot more than I expected,” says Chrissy Shahankary.

Jason Ferguson, Professor of Physics at Wichita State University, says “We saw the diamond ring at the end of it and it was really just amazing.”

“It was amazing,” said Shahankary. “Towards the end when the colors started changing and stuff it made me a little sick to my stomach so I had to go in the house. It was just intense,” adds Shahankary.

Ferguson would describe it differently. “Just a wonderful, beautiful thing that nature does occasionally and sometimes it just lines up and you are in the right place,” says Ferguson.

Ferguson studies Astronomy and was amazed by the spectacle. Already, he’s gazing ahead to the next eclipse in 2024 which he expects to be even better.

“In seven years, we will be able to see the same kind of thing again, only one small difference, the totality in seven years is going to be four minutes,” says Ferguson.

Different eclipse but he’ll wearing the same glasses. According to NASA, if you bought the real safety certified 12312-2 eclipse glasses, they never expire, as long as they don’t get scratched or punctured. Ferguson says he is saving his.

“I think the hardest part is going to be able to find them.” He adds, “Where did you put them seven years ago?”

Kara King is an educational specialist at the Sedgwick County Zoo says and she is donating her solar eclipse glasses to a special cause.

King says the Sedgwick County Zoo will be collecting them to donate to Astronomers Without Borders.

“They will use the glasses for students, children and scientists who may not have access to them in Asia and South America.” A win-win situation says King. “It promotes conservation and it promotes science.”

In the middle of KSN’s interview the zoo got their first donation.

Something others like Chrissy Shahankary plans to do in the near future.

“You know, just give that little bit back to them because they don’t get to experience stuff the way that we do because we have the cool little gadgets. They need the gadgets too,” says Shahankary.

The Sedgwick County Zoo is collecting the glasses through August 28.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.