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Re-Use Solar Shades

If you have protective eyewear from the recent solar eclipse, you have at least three leading options to get further use out of your solar shades. Continue to observe the sun; take them to another eclipse destination; or donate them to observers in other countries.

1. You can keep them handy for near-term sungazing as the solar cycle peaks, like if a rare giant sunspot becomes visible to the naked eye . The sun on Eclipse Day 2024 was fairly inactive, showing a handful of sunspots, whereas the weeks preceding and after April 8 the sun were dynamic with lots of solar activity. Stay abreast of what's happening on the sun at

SDO image of sun with sunspots
A week after eclipse, sun is active with sunspots. Image: SDO/HMI

2. You could save your solar shades for an upcoming solar eclipse. Are you about to be an eclipse chaser?

Earth with future eclipse paths.
Atlas of Solar Eclipses; courtesy of Michael Zeiler,

3. Recycle your leftover solar shades by donating them to Astronomers Without Borders, which will inspect and distribute the used eyewear. The Elkhart Environmental Center, 1717 E. Lusher Ave., is listed as an Indiana collection partner. Also, the Notre Dame College of Science is now collecting solar shades at the Jordan Hall entrance facing the Joyce Center (see pink flyer below).

Recycling and re-using solar shades extends the joy of sungazing during a solar eclipse to others in need. Thanks for passing on the goodness.


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