Pinhole Solar Projection Viewer
You can make a Pinhole Projection Viewer to safely view a solar eclipse! It is important to use safe viewing practices during a solar eclipse, as looking directly at the Sun, even for seconds can damage your eyesight. If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can also safely observe the eclipse by viewing a projected image of the Sun. For example, you can make a pinhole projection viewer using a cereal box and a few other materials found around the house. This will allow you to safely view a projected image of the Sun. See below for instructions on how to build and use your own pinhole solar projection viewer.
- Empty Cereal Box
- Sheet of Plain White Paper
- Aluminum Foil
- Small nail (about 3 mm in diameter)
How to Make Your Pinhole Solar Projection Viewer:
- Empty a cereal box by removing the plastic bag inside so you are only left with the cardboard box itself.
- Cut a white piece of paper that will fit snuggly in the bottom of the box and glue or tape it into place on the bottom of the inside of the box.
- Cut the top of the cereal box, removing both ends and leaving the center intact.
- Put a piece of tape across the center of the top to securely hold it closed. Tape the box shut so that no light can pass through the seam.
- Tape a piece of double layer aluminum foil across one of the openings at the top of the box. Fully cover the hole and tape the foil securely to the box.
- Note: The other opening at the top of the box will remain open for viewing the projected image of the Sun inside the box.
- Using a small nail (about 3 mm across) carefully push a hole through the foil. As an experiment you can test different sizes and shapes for the hole.
- You now have a completed Pinhole Solar Projection Viewer that you can use to observe a projected image of the Sun.
How to Use Your Pinhole Viewer:
- Stand with your back to the Sun.
- Hold the pinhole side of your eclipse viewer over your shoulder with the pinhole pointing toward the Sun. It may take some practice to accurately point the box.
- You should see a small image of the Sun projected onto the white paper at the bottom of the box.
- Never look directly at the Sun.
Updated: 10/05/2023 04:02PM