LODI -- It's a dark time for eclipse watchers. There's been a run on the glasses you need to witness this potentially once-in-a-lifetime phenomena.
One of the few places left in our region to still have them is the World of Wonders science museum in Lodi. At least, the museum still had them early Thursday.
"We have less than a thousand left," World of Wonders Education Director Nick Gray said.
To understand just how crucial it is to watch the eclipse only through approved glasses, hold a magnifying glass up to a dry leaf. That's exactly what the sun will do to your retina if you look directly at an eclipse.
Documented cases of blindness are not uncommon after eclipses.
"Your body has a natural reflex to turn away from the bright light," Gray said. "But if you force yourself..."
Even glasses marketed as eclipse glasses won't give you the protection you need. Amazon recently had to issue refunds “out of an abundance of caution" that glasses sold on the site “may not comply with industry standards.”
If you can't get your hands on safe glasses of your own, most eclipse parties will have spares or other viewing devices.