May 21, 2024

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How to make solar eclipse glasses, cereal box viewers, and pinhole cameras to watch the 2024 show safely

How to make solar eclipse glasses, cereal box viewers, and pinhole cameras to watch the 2024 show safely

If you can't get your hands on a pair of… Solar eclipse Glasses, experts say there are still ways to do so Enjoy the event Safely.

There are also unsafe alternatives, including wearing regular sunglasses – or even stacking two or three of them.

“There's no amount of sunglasses that people can wear that will make up for the filtration that standard ISO filters and eclipse glasses provide,” said Dr. Jason Brinton, an ophthalmologist and medical director at Brinton Vision in St. Louis. .

You also shouldn't look at the eclipse through a camera, phone, binoculars or telescope, according to NASA, even while wearing eclipse glasses. Solar rays can Burn through the lens It causes serious eye injury.

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

How to make your own safe eclipse glasses at home

If you don't have traditional solar eclipse glasses, Brinton said, you can also look through No. 14 welding glasses (for people who may have access) or aluminum plastic Mylar sheets.

Just as with traditional solar eclipse glasses, Brinton said it's important to make sure the material you're viewing is completely intact.

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

How to make a pinhole projector to safely view the eclipse

No glasses? Indirect viewing is another way to enjoy the eclipse without harming your eyes.

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

  • Make a small hole in a piece of paper
  • Place your face away from the sun, and hold the paper outward so that sunlight reaches it
  • Watch the sun project into a small hole on the ground (or on a second piece of paper you hold underneath), and watch it come out of a perfect circle and gradually disappear

“If you're on the path to college, of course it'll just disappear.” Brenton said. “This is an indirect way to see it properly.”

How to make an eclipse viewer from a cereal box

If you want to make your eclipse viewer even more elaborate, you can build an eclipse viewer using a few extra materials you have around the house. Here's how:

  • Look for a small box (common options are cereal and shoe boxes)
  • Cut two holes in the bottom of the box
  • Using tape, cover one of the holes with a piece of paper or aluminum foil punched with a small hole
  • Face away from the sun, allowing light to hit the hole
  • Looking through the remaining hole into the box, watch the sun's reflection go from full circle to eclipse
The tools are simple: an empty cereal box, some scissors, white paper, foil, tape, and something to make a small hole!

Ray Bethlin


Do you need to see? CBS Pittsburgh meteorologist Ray Bethlin I show an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to make a hole-punch viewer for a cereal box, which you can watch below.


Ray: Making a pinhole viewer for a solar eclipse

Doctors share how to ensure eclipse viewers are safe

“In theory, since you are not looking directly at the sun during an eclipse or partial eclipse, (eclipse viewers) should be safe,” said Dr. Yahya Hashad, an ophthalmologist, retina specialist and chief medical officer at Bush Eye Health. Lomb. “However, having said that, it is the implementation that sometimes makes us anxious.”

Why? He said that sometimes people have to glance at the sun in order to set the box or hole in the right direction. This can be especially common with children, who may not understand the consequences of looking at an eclipse.

“This is what makes us sometimes conservative about this method,” Hashad said. “We're always concerned, unless you're supervising the implementation of this, especially with children because they're so vulnerable to these types of situations.”

Why do you need a special viewer to watch a total solar eclipse?

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

“If someone briefly looks at the eclipse if it is very short, there will be no damage in some cases, but damage can occur even within a fraction of a second in some cases,” Brinton said. “As an ophthalmologist, I have seen patients with what is called solar eclipse retinopathy.”

Signs and symptoms of eye damage after viewing the eclipse include headaches, blurred vision, dark spots, and changes in how we see colors, lines, and shapes.

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