AWB News

Astronomers Without Borders (AWB, is collecting eclipse-viewing glasses from across the US to send to schools in South America and Asia for use during solar eclipses that cross the continents in 2019.

As a total eclipse of the Sun swept across the continental U.S from coast to coast on August 21 for the first time in nearly a century, millions of eclipse glasses were used to safely witness this dramatic celestial event. Now, AWB and its corporate partner Explore Scientific (, have launched a nationwide grassroots initiative to collect gently used eclipse glasses to give them a second life before they are unnecessarily recycled or reach landfills.

Through the enthusiastic support of local libraries, schools, museums, city halls, police stations, commercial businesses, and community organizations, collection centers are quickly popping up from coast to coast to ensure that as many glasses as possible are recycled. Just two weeks after the eclipse, more than 800 collection centers are gathering glasses, and Explore Scientific’s warehouse has received well over 150,000 pairs of used and leftover new glasses. That number is rising by leaps and bounds, with people providing those schools in developing countries the wonderful opportunity to safely experience a solar eclipse.

Collection centers are encouraged to register online on the AWB website (

AWB is also seeking sponsors to support processing, storage, and shipping of the more than one millions glasses expected to be donated.

“The 2017 total solar eclipse was seen by more people than any other in history, mostly using safe viewing glasses for the partial phases. It’s a great opportunity, with the help of local organizations across the country, to collect, vet and store as many glasses as we can for schools in developing countries that will experience eclipses in the future,” said Mike Simmons, President and Founder of AWB. “We’re very pleased to be organizing this project, which will provide access to eclipse viewing to those who might otherwise miss out, thanks to the generosity of the collection centers and the thousands of people who are sending glasses in.”

Every pair of glasses will be inspected to make sure they meet safety certifications, and are not damaged or counterfeit.

AWB also has a post-eclipse educational program, sponsored by Google, open to all US schools, building on the inspiration of the cosmic spectacle. The Building on the Eclipse Education Program offers STEM education lessons and activities using sunlight. Schools can join the program at

The glasses collection campaign comes on the heels of a highly successfully eclipse glasses distribution program made possible in large part by the generous donations of glasses from AWB partners Google and Big Kid Science (50,000 glasses each), with additional contributions from Celestron and the American Astronomical Society (3200 glasses each).