Doug Peltz has been looking forward to the August 21 solar eclipse since he was 8 years old, so he knows what it’s like to be a young kid that wants to be amazed.
That’s why Peltz, cofounder and CCO of the science-education company Mystery Science, along with his partner and CEO Keith Schacht, are working with Google to give away 15,000 glasses to schools around the US in the coming weeks.
As long as a school can confirm that at least 200 kids will be watching the eclipse, Mystery Science will ship a box of glasses free of charge.
The partnership is part of Google’s larger mission to equip every child in America with a pair of eclipse glasses. The tech giant has promised to ship some 2 million glasses to 4,800 public libraries across the US, all in the hopes that as many kids as possible will get to see the moon crossing directly in front of the sun.
A total solar eclipse hasn’t crossed the US since 1918, and it won’t happen again until 2045.
“Going to the moon, exploring the surface of Mars, or seeing a total solar eclipse across the US for the first time in a century are amazing moments that can inspire a whole new generation of explorers and scientists,” Calvin Johnson, Program Manager at Google, said in a press statement.
Similar to regular sunglasses, eclipse glasses block out intense solar light — just to a greater degree. They also tend to be made with special filters that preserve the color of the sun so viewers can more easily distinguish between the moon and the sun’s outer ring, or corona.
The eclipse will be visible to everyone in the continental United States, but will only be a total eclipse — meaning, the moon passes directly in front of the sun — for people in a specific path the sun will carve from the northwestern states down through the southeast. The further people are from that line, the more off-center the moon will appear in front of the sun.
Teachers can use the website Eclipse America to look up when, where, and how the eclipse will appear near their school.
Experts predict the eclipse is expected to begin around 1 pm ET and last roughly until 4 pm ET, at which point the final sliver of the moon will sneak past the sun and restart the clock until 2045, when it will happen all over again.