Viewing an Eclipse

Whilst gazing into the night sky is always a magical experience, especially if there are no clouds and little or no light pollution, it is not always night time when interesting things happen! There are other cosmic phenomena are only visible during the day. Solar eclipses for one. A solar eclipse is a spectacular sight and a fairly rare astronomical event. For although they occur roughly twice a year, each one is only visible from a limited area of the earth.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself along the path of an eclipse you can easily make your own eclipse viewer to safely observe this celestial phenomenon.

Keep reading and find out how to make an eclipse viewer to safely view an eclipse.


Creating Your Own Homemade Eclipse Viewer

Very importantly never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection. You can permanently damage your eyes and even go blind. Sun glasses are NOT suitable protection. Which is why projecting the sun through your own DIY eclipse viewer is a safe and easy way to see an eclipse while keeping your eyes safe.

All you need to make an eclipse viewer at home are the following supplies:-

  • an empty cereal box,
  • a pencil or pen,
  • scissors,
  • tin foil,
  • tape or glue,
  • a piece of white paper,
  • something sharp to make a pinhole
    ... And that’s basically it!

Read carefully and follow the next steps to make your own safe solar eclipse glasses at home:

  1. Start with an empty cereal box. This will be the main part of our DIY eclipse viewer.
  2. Get a piece of white paper, place the cereal box upright on it, and trace its shape on the paper with a pencil, pen or marker.
  3. Cut out that shape with the scissors.
  4. Tape or glue the cut-out white paper to the inside of the box on the bottom.
  5. Close the top of the box, and cut out two square holes on the left and right sides. One of these will be where the light enters and the other where we look to see the eclipse's image on our white paper at the bottom of the box.
  6. Pace the tin foil over one of the holes, tape it down, and put a pinhole in it.


Viewing a Solar Eclipse Safely with your Eclipse Viewer

We can’t stress enough the permanent damage you can do to your eyes by looking at the sun directly. Your DIY eclipse viewer will keep you perfectly safe.

Firstly, you’ll want to stand so the sun is behind you. Make sure you can see the shadow you are casting with your own body. Hold the box in front of you so that the sunlight can enter the pinhole in the piece of foil on the one side of the box. Then you look into the other opening on the other side of the box, you will see the image of the sun and therfore the eclipse on the white paper at the bottom of the box

Why not get your friends and family together for the eclipse, and share a special moment with your homemade eclipse viewer!

If you don't have time to make the exclipse viewer you can still view the. eclipse using just 2 pieces of card! Simply make a very small hole in the centre of one piece of card. Stand with your back to the sun and allow the sunlight to fall on the card where there is the pin hole. Hold another piece of card in front and you will see the moon move across the sun.


Your own customized star map

If you are reading this, astronomy is probably one of your passions. Did you know that you can have your own customized star map of any significant date, like your birthday, ready to hang on your walls? This is what Under Lucky Stars provides, based on the Bright Star Catalogue from Yale University. A truly unique gift, for yourself or for your loved ones!

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