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Can't Get Hold Of Solar Eclipse Glasses? Make Your Own Pinhole Projector Instead

19 August 2017, 10:52 pm EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times
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Watch: Moon blots sun out of sky as total solar eclipse mesmerises US

What people are calling the "Great American Total Solar Eclipse" is finally going to take place after months of excitement. If you're finding it hard to find a pair of proper solar eclipse glasses, fret not, because you can make your own pinhole projector that will also let you witness the eclipse without damaging your eyes.

Solar Eclipse Glasses Are Now Hard To Find

The solar eclipse is almost ready to dim the afternoon skies on Aug. 21, and people are already excited. Those who have been paying attention to the news and other media outlets are probably aware that a large part of preparing for the eclipse is to get their hands on NASA-approved solar eclipse glasses.

However, with the total solar eclipse happening very soon, it's getting harder and harder to find the proper eclipse-viewing equipment. In many places, solar eclipse glasses are already sold out.

Make Your Own Pinhole Projector Instead

Another way people can watch the solar eclipse even without solar eclipse glasses is by using pinhole projectors. What's neat about pinhole projectors is that you can make it with just a few things that are probably already in the house. For this project, an empty cereal box, a small sheet of aluminium foil, a small sheet of paper, tape, and a pin to prick a small hole will be needed.

The first step to making your own pinhole projector is to trace the bottom of the cereal box on a sheet of paper which should then be cut and taped inside the box, right at the bottom. The top of the cereal box should be sealed before cutting out square or rectangular holes on the left and right sides of the now sealed top.

The next step is to cover the left hole with the aluminium foil. When taped into place, the aluminium foil should then be pricked with a pinhole right at the very center.

In order to watch the solar eclipse using the DIY projector, one must simply turn his back to the sun and look into the right, uncovered hole. While a direct viewing of the solar eclipse will not be made, the light from the celestial event will pass through the pinhole and be projected onto the piece of paper taped to the bottom of the box.

Last-Minute Pinhole Projector

If there really is no time to even make a pinhole projector with the cereal box, any sheet such as a paper plate, a cardboard, or even an index card may be used for a last-minute projector. Just prick a pinhole onto the center, turn your back from the sun, and find a clear enough surface to project the eclipse onto.

If you don't even have any of those materials, just stretch out your arms and place one hand on top of another with slightly open fingers crossing each other. Again, with your back to the sun, the light will pass in between your fingers and the eclipse will be projected onto the clear surface of your choosing.

No matter how you decide to watch the eclipse, it's important to just enjoy the spectacle without causing lasting damage to the eyes. Pinhole projectors are a cost-effective and even fun way of taking part in this rare celestial event.

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