Louisville Astronomical Society

Louisville Astronomical Society

The Procrastinator's Guide to the Eclipse

First, BE SAFE!

Do NOT directly view the sun or eclipse without proper eclipse viewing eyewear. You can find details about safe viewing eyewear at this NASA page (https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024/safety/).

You will also find other information about the time, locations and what to expect on the NASA eclipse site.

- - - - - - - - - -

The Eclipse of 2024 is finally here and millions of people are planning their viewing. Unfortunately, some of us have found out that the supply of safe eclipse glasses has dried up. Lots of people have asked me where to get them and I don't have an answer. 

BUT, all is not lost. There is still a safe way to view the eclipse with a few simple items. It is called the Eclipse Pinhole Projector. There are several ways to improve on this approach, but I wanted to show you the easiest way. The image may seem small, but keep in mind that viewing with eclipse glasses gives an image about the same size of the sun directly in the sky.

Do NOT look at the sun or eclipse through the pinhole!

Eclipse Pinhole Projection Viewer Instructions:

- Find a couple of index cards (any size will do) and a ball point pen or pencil.

- Carefully poke a small hole, about the size of a pencil lead) through one of the index cards.

- Make sure the hole is as round as possible. You can use the pen to push the torn pieces back. It should not be any larger than a pencil lead or your image will be blurry. The smaller the hole, the clearer the image. Of course, it will also be dimmer.

- The second card will be your projection screen. To start, simply position the cards so the sun shines through the hole of the first card and can be seen on your screen card. Do NOT look directly at the sun or eclipse through the pinhole.

- To enlarge the image, increase the distance between the two cards. You can make it most any distance you can handle. 

- This is what you can expect to see on your index card screen when they are separated by three feet.

Other eclipse pinhole viewers

If you have the time, resources and inclination to make an improved viewer, here are a few links to some improved eclipse pinhole projection viewers. Since they keep more light from hitting your screen, the image will be much clearer.

- Boys Life Magazine Shoe Box Viewer (This is a great design)

This story is courtesy of Warren, the LAS Web Guy
Enjoy the eclipse!!!

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The Louisville Astronomical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 17554, Louisville, KY 40217

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