FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A college professor in northeast Indiana is collecting solar eclipse glasses in preparation for the total solar eclipse in 2024.

Thousands of eclipse glasses were sold or distributed through schools, public viewing parties, retailers and science museums in Fort Wayne for the Great American Eclipse.

Christer Watson, a physics professor and observatory director at Manchester University, is collecting unwanted pairs of glasses at the Science Central and plans to distribute them for free in the future. The science museum sold about 4,500 glasses this year, said Andrea Yeater, Science Central’s marketing manager.

Watson told The Journal Gazette that Fort Wayne will be on the edge of totality for an April 2024 total solar eclipse that will cross Indiana.

“Seven years is a long time for one person to hold onto one pair of glasses,” he said.

NASA officials say eclipse glasses can be reused indefinitely if the filters aren’t scratched, punctured or torn.

Watson said glasses should be kept dry and stored in a container to avoid scratches. He said he will ensure that donated pairs aren’t damaged and meet safety standards.

“We’ll make sure they’re safe,” he said.

Astronomers Without Borders also plans to collect unwanted glasses and redistribute them to people in other countries for future eclipses.

Information from: The Journal Gazette,

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