Saturday, August 19, 2017

How to Watch the Eclipse Without Glasses

There is loads of excitement about the solar eclipse on Monday. It is extremely dangerous to look at the sun directly, especially during an eclipse. You can cause severe damage very quickly without protection for your eyes. They are selling eclipse glasses but most places are selling out or have been sold out. I remember seeing them at the grocery store but haven’t been able to find them again. No need to worry. There are other ways to view the sun, like a pinhole viewing box.

              The box allows you to safely watch a projection of the eclipse. You can build the viewer with common household items. All you need is a box, tape, and aluminum foil. The box you use can be a shoe box, cereal box, or whatever you have around the house. Ella goes through diapers like mad so I used one of her diaper boxes. The bottom of the box has a large gap that I had to block. You want the inside dark so the reflection shows up more clearly.

               Once you have the box, cut a sheet of white paper to fit inside the bottom end. This is what the image will be projected onto. Tape the paper down so you can move the viewer without it falling out. 

              Cut a small square in the top corner of one side. If you are using a cereal box, cut 2 square holes on either side of the box top. You will have one hole to look into and one for the pinhole. With a larger box, you can leave the one side open view the image. I have a larger box so I left the top open and flipped it over.

                   Cover the square with a layer of tin foil and tape it down. Use a pin or needle to poke a hole in the center of the foil and that’s it. You can now safely view the eclipse. Stand with your back to the sun and point the foil at it. The image will project down through the pinhole and onto your paper. Remember, do not look directly at the sun. 

These are the filaments from the light in my sewing room. It works!
       I hope you enjoy making the viewer and getting to see the first total eclipse in almost 100 years to travel across the entire US. We are not in the path of totality here so it will only be about 89% covered but that is still pretty neat. Have fun and stay safe!

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1 comment:

  1. great tutorial, this will be a safe way to watch and some of the glasses are not safe. We ordered some safe ones from Amazon but will still be very careful. You will want to keep your pets inside while it is going on. If they look at the sun without protection they could be blinded or terrible damage to their eyes. Be safe!