Update: While we haven’t contacted every possible outlet, it’s probable that all sources of the glasses are out of them now. Your best bet at this point is to show up early at one of the viewing parties where they are being given out in limited quantities or to go with the pinhole projector option, which aficionados say is a just-dandy way to view an eclipse.
We’re just a few days from the Great American Solar Eclipse 2017, as people seem to be calling it. A swath of the country will see it in its totality, but we’ll see about 65% in Austin. If you haven’t snagged a pair of solar eclipse glasses, you may be SOL. But never fear: There are other options, if you act fast.
Many of the Austin area places that are hosting viewing parties (mapped here), including several public libraries, Thinkery, the Austin Science and Nature Center, and the UT astronomy building, will be handing out glasses at their events—as long as supplies last, and only at the viewing parties.
While approximately 4,800 libraries across the country have been giving out the glasses, according to local NBC affiliate KXAN, the Austin Public Library is not one of them. There are, however, libraries in Williamson and Hays counties that are doing so. You can try StarNetLibraries.org (if you can get the map to load) to find them.
While Austin’s Warby Parker stores stocked the glasses for giveaway, the store is not answering questions about them over the phone, and the fact that they point callers to their instructions for making a pinhole camera suggests that they might be out of them. If so, they might restock, but apparently you’ll find out only if you go to one of the two Austin stores.
Those willing to forget the freebies can purchase ISO-certified cardboard glasses at Lowe’s (in-store only), but call first, of course, to see if they still have them. Most vendors are sold out, according to the American Astronomical Society, which also warns of the dangers of non-certified glasses and published this exhaustive list of vendors that are (or were) selling them.
If all else fails, there’s always the pinhole camera option (here’s The Verge’s how-to) or watching the total eclipse on NASA’s live stream or one of the many live television feeds (including CNN’s 360-degree coverage, which will be accessible in virtual reality through Oculus and other VR headsets).