How to build your own pinhole eclipse viewer

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - There are many ways to view the once in a lifetime total solar eclipse.

Dr. Tom Pannuti with Morehead State University's Department of Earth and Space Sciences says viewing it safely is very important.

Dr. Pannuti says the best way to see the total solar eclipse is with the special glasses called eclipse shades.

He warns that some of those glasses out there might not fill all of the requirements to safely view the eclipse. It is of vital importance that the glasses meet specific safety requirements before looking directly at the sun.

“Read the instructions. Sunglasses by themselves are not safe. Multiple stacks of sunglasses are not safe either. Special filters will help,” Dr. Pannuti said.

If you don't have access to eclipse shades or just don't feel comfortable looking at the sun there are other ways to "see" the event

Pinhole eclipse viewer works the same as a pinhole projector.

You Need:
- a long cardboard box or tube
- scissors
- tape
- aluminum foil
- a pin or a thumbtack
- a sharp knife or paper cutter
- a sheet of white paper

What to Do:
1. Cut a rectangular hole at the end of the box. You can tape 2 boxes together to make a long box. The longer the box, the larger the projected image.
2. Using the scissors cut out a piece of the aluminum foil slightly larger than the rectangular hole. Make sure the foil is completely flat and not crinkled.
3. Tape the foil over the rectangular hole in the box.
4. Use the pin to poke a tiny hole in the center of the foil.
5. Tape the sheet of paper on the inside of the other end of the box.
6. Stand with your back toward the Sun. Place the box over your head with the pinhole towards the Sun. Adjust your position until you see a small projection, a negative image, of the eclipsed Sun on the paper inside the box.

We used a flashlight to illustrate what the viewer will look like the day of the eclipse. As the moon comes between the sun & the earth you will see a sphere take over the other.

This isn’t as glamorous as the glasses, but it is a safe option.
Dr. Pannuti says that if you are planning to use the pinhole viewer for your eclipse viewing, be sure to practice with a flashlight to get yourself prepared.

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