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Safely View the Solar Eclipse

Did you forget to purchase your viewing glasses for the upcoming solar eclipse? Well don’t worry, here are some great tips on how you can safely enjoy the solar eclipse, including a way to easily make your own simple pinhole eclipse viewer.

What is a Solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and when the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun.

Why is it dangerous to look at a solar eclipse if the moon is blocking the sun?

During the eclipse, it is dark out, so your pupils dilate to let in enough light to get a good picture. Despite the fact it is dark outside most of the duration of the solar eclipse, the sun is only partially being blocked by the moon. So, by staring directly into the sun although it does not seem to be painful you are still exposing your eyes to harmful UV rays and can damage them.

If you are going to be in the locations where there is a Total Solar eclipse (the moon completely blocking the sun) the sun will reappear with extremely bright light, not only are you staring directly at it, but your eyes are in a state where they are dilated, letting in as much light as possible. This is why it’s so important to use proper Solar Eclipse viewing techniques. NASA is quoted saying “You should never assume that you can look away quickly enough to avoid eye damage because every person is different in terms of their retinal sensitivity, and you do not want to risk being the one who damages their eyes just to try to look at the sun”

Do NOT look at the seclipses through:

  1. Binoculars
  2. Telescopes
  3. Any type of glasses
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Smoked glass
  6. Polarizing filters
  7. exposed color film

They will not protect you from the sun’s damaging rays.

DIY Solar Eclipse Projector

Supplies:

  • A cardboard box
  • 1 sheet of plain white paper
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Duck Tape or Electrical Tape
  • A thumbtack
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut a rectangular hole in the box that’s just above center on the short side of the box.
  2. Add a hole for your head.
  3. Cut a piece of aluminum and tape over the rectangular hole on the short side of the box.
  4. Poke a hole in the aluminum foil using the thumbtack.
  5. Block any light leaks by covering with duck tape or electrical tape. The thumbtack hole should be the only remaining light leak.
  6. Lastly, tape the sheet of white paper on the inside of the projection side of the box. Think of it like a movie screen!

 

 

 

 

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