Viewing the Solar Eclipse, Safely

News

A solar eclipse is a slow process. Are you prepared to see it? Get yourself solar eclipse glasses now.

Here’s the Earth. Here’s the moon. There’s the sun. Here’s my sweat. This is all about the eclipse. It turns out, if you’ll take the Earth, the moon is much farther away from the Earth than you think. I have to go back ten feet. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. This is how far the moon would be from the Earth, this little tiny thing. But the question is, “where’s the sun”? I’m going to keep you on your toes!

So you’ve driven by Mobile’s airport and you’ve noticed that white ball sitting on a tower. That’s a radar and it’s covered by a dome. It turns out that dome is 40 feet across, but it turns out that also, it is 50 yards away from me. That’s why it looks like the same size as my moon. So the moon, sun, far apart, but they look like they are the same size.

The moon will pass in front of the sun but never stare into the sun, or an eclipse.

Make a simple eclipse pin hole projector out of cardboard sheets

So if you don’t have eclipse glasses all you need are two sheets of poster board or cardboard, and a nail. Punch a little perfectly circular hole right in one of them. Then you’ll see the sun coming through, shining onto the other piece of board. It’s as basic as this.

So here’s a second, even better, pinhole viewer. You need aluminum foil, tape, a nail, scissors, and an empty cereal box. You’re going to end up cutting off the top corners of the flaps. One of the flaps, you’ll cover with aluminum foil. Tape it down. Use the nail to punch a perfectly circular hole into it, and then the other side- that’s your viewer. All you have to do is turn your back to the sun and look in it. Here are video instructions from NASA.

So finally, the best thing to do to see the solar eclipse, is purchase some solar glasses, you can find them locally, and enjoy the view.

Make a simple eclipse pin hole projector out of a small box.

Here’s a list of stores in the News 5 area, that sell eclipse glasses.

Here are the percentages of the eclipse, and the times of the peak around our area, and around the US.

Another great way to experience an eclipse is to focus the image of the sun on the ground, using binoculars. That’s what John Wilkinson did in 1984. See the picture below.

Binoculars can create an eclipse image on the ground.

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