Make a Box Pinhole Projector to Safely Watch a Solar Eclipse
Next Annular Solar Eclipse: Sun, Feb 26, 2017 … See animation
A simple and safe way to watch a solar eclipse is with a DIY pinhole projector. It is easy to make with a cardboard box and ordinary household items.
Project the Sun
Never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection. You can seriously hurt your eyes and even go blind.
Projector Using a Box
This type of pinhole projector works on the same principle as a basic pinhole projector. However, the box makes this projector much sturdier and easier to set on a surface. And it only requires a few extra items to construct.
- A long cardboard box or tube
- Duct tape
- Aluminum foil
- A pin or a thumbtack
- Sharp knife or paper cutter
- Sheet of white paper
What to Do:
- Cut a rectangular hole at the end of the box. You can tape 2 boxes together to make 1 long box. The longer the box, the larger the projected image
- Using the scissors, cut out a piece of the aluminum foil slightly larger than the rectangular hole. Make sure it is completely flat and not crinkled.
- Tape the foil over the rectangular hole you just made in the box.
- Use the pin to poke a tiny hole in the center of the foil.
- Place or tape the sheet of paper on the inside of the other end of the box.
- Stand with your back towards the Sun. Place the box over your head with the hole towards the Sun. Adjust your position until you see the Sun's image reflected on the paper inside the box.
Using a Tube?
If you are using a tube or taping 2 tubes together, cut the end of the tubes and tape the foil with a pinhole on 1 end. On the other end, tape a piece of white paper over the end of the tube. This will act as the screen. Close to this end, cut a rectangular hole using the knife. This will be your viewing window.
With your back towards the Sun, point the end with the foil towards the Sun, angling the tube along the Sun's rays. Look into the tube through the viewing window and you will see a small projection – a negative image – of the eclipsed Sun on the screen.
- Never look at the Sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the Sun's rays can do to them.
- Always keep your back towards the Sun while looking at a pinhole projection.
- Do not look at the Sun through the pinhole.
No Good for Planet Transits
Next eclipse begins in
Feb 10, 2017 at 22:34:14 UTC … See more
- Different Types of Eclipses
- What are Solar Eclipses?
- Total Solar Eclipses
- Partial Solar Eclipses
- Annular Solar Eclipses
- Solar Eclipses in History
- Solar Eclipse Myths and Superstitions
- Magnitude of Eclipses
Protect Your Eyes
- Never Look Directly at the Sun
- Simple Pinhole Projector
- Eclipse Projector in a Box
- Binoculars / Telescope Projector