How to Make a Pinhole Camera to Safely View the Eclipse

Gladys Abbott
August 22, 2017

For good measure, you can check out this video from NPR, which shows five safe ways for viewing the eclipse.

Since it is too unsafe to look at the sun during an eclipse with the naked eye, eclipse enthusiasts must use protection.

"The bottom line is you should not look directly at the sun unless you have the proper equipment", said optometrist Aaron Reinert in Anna. In addition to the larger box, this version of the eclipse viewer recommends using part of an empty soda can rather than aluminum foil, because the can is more durable.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology has also released tips on how to make a pinhole camera with two pieces of white card stock, aluminum foil, tape and a pin or a paper clip. Solar eclipses themselves are safe. On a white piece of paper or white cardboard, trace the bottom of the box. Grab a helper to take photos of your designs for a stellar art project you can enjoy even after the eclipse has ended. You may experience difficulty seeing the image projected because the sun is shining on the paper.

But if you want to actually get outside and experience the eclipse then there are a few low-priced DIY ways to do it before it's all done. You can hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.

Screen Shot 2017 08 17
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To watch a projection of the eclipse, stand with the sun behind you, with the tin foil-side of the box about a few inches above the other side of the box. Do not look at the sun through your fingers!

Close the box top back up and draw an outline for your eye holes on each corners.

Once it does, you will have the sun in your sights without the sun damaging your sight.

Can't see the full eclipse today?

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