Preparations for the "Great American Eclipse" captivated astronomers and the general public alike. With the preparations came numerous warnings about how the eclipse could be viewed safely. There was a suggestion online that Pop-Tart® wrappers, which are made of Mylar®, can be used to create homemade eclipse glasses. Mylar® is a brand name for biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate; it is a metallized plastic sheeting that reflects almost all light and also functions as an insulating material. This could be appealing to novices who don't know any better and who want to be able to look at the sun without having to buy ISO and CE certified eclipse glasses. This could potentially be dangerous if the Pop-Tart® wrappers don't filter out enough of the sun's rays to fully protect the viewer's eyes. This project ascertained the safety of Pop-Tart® wrapper eclipse glasses by comparing their transmission to the transmission of verified glasses from reputable dealers. Transmission measurements were performed with a monochromator and were plotted to compare the data. Measurement results indicate that a double-layered Pop-Tart® wrapper performs comparably with eclipse glasses in the visible range and filters more radiation in the near UV and near IR regions.
Katherine Carpenter, Susan Farnand, "Can Pop-Tart® wrappers be used to make safe eclipse glasses?" in Proc. IS&T Int’l. Symp. on Electronic Imaging: Color Imaging XXIII: Displaying, Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications, 2018, pp 225-1 - 225-4, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2470-1173.2018.16.COLOR-225