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Forget Your Eclipse Glasses? Make A Pinhole Projector In A Crunch

Solar eclipse

If you forgot to grab a pair of eclipse glasses ahead of the solar eclipse, you don’t have to miss the show. Make a pinhole projector instead. You probably have all the supplies in your home.

The total solar eclipse is a rare event that won’t happen in the United States again for another two decades, so be sure to get outside and watch! It’s important that you don’t look at the sun without approved eyewear, however. If you do, it could cause solar retinopathy, which creates symptoms such as blind spots, distortions, and more.

Specially designed sunglasses are the easiest way to watch the event. The cheap eyewear blocks out more light than typical sunglasses. They should be lab-tested and need to meet a standard known as ISO 12312-2.

If you don’t have a pair of eclipse glasses on hand, your second best option is to make a pinhole viewer. These are also approved for viewing the show. To make one, all you need are two pieces of white card stock paper (white paper plates will also work), tape, a pin (or a needle, paperclip, or pencil), and aluminum foil.

How To Make A Pinhole Projector or Camera

To create your viewer, cut a small hole in the middle of one piece of paper. Next, take a section of aluminum over the hole. Using the pin, poke a hole in the foil.

Stand with your back against the sun and place the second piece of paper on the ground. When you hold the paper with aluminum foil above it, it will project an image of the solar eclipse on the paper. NASA gives a step-by-step tutorial here.

If you want to get more crafty, you can also make a pinhole camera, which projects the image inside a cardboard box. The supplies are the same aside from needing the cardboard. A cereal box works perfectly!

The solar eclipse will begin in the early afternoon and make its way across the path of totality for several hours. To learn more about viewings in your town, check here.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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