How to safely watch the solar eclipse if you don’t have special glasses

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Solar eclipse shadow

Today, the US will get to see a solar eclipse

Those who live along or have traveled to the 70-mile-wide streak of totality will get see the moon completely block out the sun’s light as it crosses between the Earth and the sun (weather permitting). 

The rest will be treated to a partial eclipse, where the moon blocks out a portion of the sun. Regardless of the view, a solar eclipse is a fairly rare event to observe — and one that should never been seen by looking directly at the sun without protection

Solar eclipse glasses that allow people view the event safely have sold out over the last few weeks. If you weren’t able to snag a pair, you’re not out of luck. Here are some ways to watch the eclipse without special glasses. 

SEE ALSO: Bizarre things happen to the environment and animals during a total solar eclipse — here’s what to look out for

DON’T MISS: What looking at the solar eclipse without glasses could do to your eyes

Build a pinhole camera.

Pinhole cameras can get pretty advanced, but NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has instructions for building an incredibly simple version in just a few minutes.

Here’s what you need: scissors, tin foil, a piece of thick card stock (or paper), tape, and a needle.

Cut a hole in the middle of one sheet of card stock, tape the edges of a sheet of tin foil over it, then carefully pierce the center of the foil with the needle — presto, you’ve made a pinhole camera. Hover your device over something white, ideally a piece of paper, and move it up and down until you figure out where the ideal focus point is.

 

Use a colander to project the eclipse onto a piece of paper.

You don’t even need to even build a contraption — any object with tiny holes that let light through works.

If you happen to be near some kitchen supplies, grab a colander. In addition to  straining your pasta, it can project the light from the eclipse onto a piece of paper or cardboard so you can get a glimpse of the effect. With your back toward the sun, hold the colander over your head and hold out the piece of paper or cardboard out in front of you. You should be able to see the crescent shape from the partial eclipse. 

This also works with straw hats and spoons with holes in them, according to Mark Littman and Fred Espenek, authors of "Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024."

Make a fist.

You can also just use your fist. Close your hand tight enough to let only a small point of light through. Hold it up near a surface, and you should be able to see the eclipse projected through the hole.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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