The Provo Family Thought They Could Sell 500,000 Glasses For The Total Solar Eclipse

The Provo Family Thought They Could Sell 500,000 Glasses For The Total Solar Eclipse

A PROVO — A lot of people in Utah are driving to get the best views of Monday’s total sun eclipse. It’s supposed to be at its strongest around noon MST on Monday, but Utah is not in the path of totality.

Monday’s total sun eclipse will also be shown live on from Torreon, Mexico.

A family in Provo is helping people all over the country get ready for the event in the sky.

After the 2017 solar eclipse, Roger and Allyssa Sarkis chose to make, sell, and ship their own eclipse glasses.

“Everybody flooded out of the offices downtown Salt Lake, and everybody stopped for 20 minutes and watched this thing,” he said. “There were a lot of glasses that weren’t used anymore. I got together all the used ones that weren’t broken and sent them to South America.

After that, he and his wife started their business in their shed.

“We do the designs and we have a manufacturing partner based out of Tennessee that prints them for us and then ships them here,” he explained.

As a teacher of earth sciences and geography at Utah Valley University, Roger Sarkis has always been interested in these events.

“This is one moment where we can all stop and see something happen that we’ve talked about in class,” he stated.

He and his wife thought that many of the lenses in other glasses didn’t protect their eyes as well as they should have.

“What you want to look for — any legitimate brand of glasses is going to have this symbol, the ISO symbol,” Sarkis said.

What began as a side job is now making huge amounts of money.

“If the current trend prevails, by Monday we will have sold half a million pair,” he added.

Utah isn’t in the line of totality, but people in the northwest and along the Wasatch Front will see the sky get darker. The level of obscureness is expected to be around 50%.

KSL meteorologist Devan Masciulli said, “We’ll see the partial eclipse through broken clouds. But the farther southeast you go in the state, you may see a little more cloud cover.”

She said that tourists have a lot of doubts.

“It’s looking pretty dicey in Texas, the southeastern parts of Oklahoma and at least the southern half of Missouri,” she added.

Even though the weather could change, there are places in the country where you might be able to see well right now.

“It’s looking like the best place to encounter clear skies is going to be in the eastern parts of New York and up through New England,” said Masciulli.

She said that people in Texas might have trouble seeing.

“If you’re in San Antonio, it’s looking like the trend is more overcast, but if you travel just a little bit more into the northeastern parts of Texas, you may have better chances,” she noted.

Masciulli says to check the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, which gives daily predictions on the amount of clouds.

New pictures of the middle and eastern parts of the U.S. can be seen on a website that uses satellites.

Back in Provo, the Sarkis family wants people all over the country to have sunny days.

“You’re not buying the glasses per se, you’re buying the opportunity to participate in the experience of watching the eclipse, which you won’t get another opportunity until 2045,” he said.

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