How to Make Solar Eclipse Glasses, Cereal Box Viewers, and Pinhole Cameras to View the 2024 Spectacular Safely

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If you can’t get a pair of solar eclipse glasses, experts say there are still ways to enjoy the event No danger.

There are also unsafe alternatives, such as wearing regular sunglasses or even stacking two or three.

“There is no amount of sunglasses people can put on that will compensate for the filtering provided by ISO standard filters and eclipse glasses,” said Dr. Jason P. Brinton, ophthalmologist and medical director of Brinton Vision in St. Louis. . .

According to NASA, you should also not view the eclipse through the lens of a camera, phone, binoculars, or telescope, even with eclipse glasses. The sun’s rays can burn through the lens and cause serious eye injury.

So what can you use? Here’s what doctors suggest:

How to make your own eclipse-proof glasses at home

If you don’t have traditional solar eclipse glasses, Brinton said you can also look through #14 welder’s glasses (for people who can have access) or sheets of aluminized mylar plastic.

As with traditional solar eclipse glasses, Brinton said it’s important to make sure the material being viewed is completely intact.

“Make sure there are no scratches or damage,” he said.

How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Eclipse Safely

Without glasses? Indirect viewing is another way to enjoy the eclipse without damaging your eyes.

Brinton said there are several ways to view the event indirectly, including a homemade pinhole projector. Here’s how to make one:

  • Make a small hole in a sheet of paper.
  • Back to the sun, holding the paper so the sunlight hits it.
  • Observe the pinhole projection of the sun on the ground (or on a second sheet of paper you hold underneath), watching it go from a complete circle to gradually disappearing.

“If you are in the path of totality, of course it disappears completely.” Brinton said. “That’s a roundabout way of looking at it that’s appropriate.”

How to make an eclipse viewer from a cereal box

If you want to make your indirect viewing tool a little more elaborate, you can make an eclipse viewer with a few more materials you have around the house. That is how:

  • Find a small box (popular choices are cereal and shoe boxes)
  • Cut two openings in the bottom of the box.
  • Using masking tape, cover one of the openings with a piece of paper or aluminum foil punched with a small hole.
  • With your back to the sun, allowing light to reach the hole.
  • Looking through the remaining opening into the box, watch as the sun’s projection goes from a full circle to an eclipse.
The tools are simple: an empty cereal box, some scissors, white paper, aluminum foil, tape, and something to make a small hole.

Ray Petelin

Do you need an image? Ray Petelin, CBS Pittsburgh meteorologist demonstrated a simple step by step on how to make a pinhole viewer for a cereal box, which you can see below.

Hey Ray: How to Create a Solar Eclipse Pinhole Viewer

Doctors share how to make sure eclipse viewers are safe

“In theory, since you are not looking directly at the sun during the eclipse or partial eclipse, (eclipse viewers) should be safe,” said Dr. Yehia Hashad, an ophthalmologist, retina specialist and medical director of the company. Bausch eye health +. Lomb. “However, that being said, what we are sometimes concerned about is implementation.”

Because? Sometimes people take a little glance at the sun to adjust the box or hole in the right direction, she said. This can be especially common with children, who may not understand the consequences of viewing the eclipse.

“This is what makes us sometimes conservative about this method,” Hashad said. “We always worry, unless you’re supervising the implementation of this, especially with children as they are very vulnerable to these types of situations.”

Why is a special viewer needed for the total solar eclipse?

Eye protection during the eclipse is important to prevent eye damage.

“If someone briefly looks at the eclipse, if it’s extremely brief, in some cases there will be no damage, but in some cases damage can occur even in a fraction of a second,” Brinton said. “As an ophthalmologist, I have seen patients suffering from so-called eclipse or solar retinopathy.”

Signs and symptoms of eye damage after viewing an eclipse include headaches, blurred vision, dark spots, and changes in the way you see color, lines, and shapes.

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