I know I mentioned that my posts will be on Tuesdays, but seeing as how the solar eclipse is tomorrow (5/20/12), making a how-to about how to view the eclipse safely a couple days later just doesn’t make much sense.
Mr. Bill Nye, The Science Guy showed me this little project on his show years ago. You see, sometimes the moon does a little bit more than reflect the light of the sun (am I now going to be booed out of Texas too? Sorry Texas readers…); sometimes it gets in the sun’s way too. A solar eclipse can be quite a sight to see, but there is the problem of having to look at the sun to see it. So what do you do?
The Science Guy is both cheap and clever — take a cardboard box and cut small area towards the bottom of the box, and tape a bit of foil over the hole on the outside of the box. On the inside of the opposite side of the box, tape a piece of white paper. Punch a pinhole in the foil, and you’ve constructed a pinhole viewer — perfect for safely viewing the solar eclipse. Point the foil end at the sun, put the box over your head, and look at the white paper — you might have to play with positioning a bit to make sure you’re not blocking the view with your head and that the light from the eclipse actually hits the paper.
This is a great do-it-yourself project to do with sun-staring kids who you don’t want to go blind. Also, wearing cardboard can make you look like a robot if you do it right.