Introduction: Solar Eclipse / Sun Viewer in 3 Simple Ways

Picture of Solar Eclipse / Sun Viewer in 3 Simple Ways

These are three simple ways to view the solar eclipse or even just the plain sun without damaging your eyes.

I recently lost my eclipse glasses I got from the Transit of Venus, so I needed to make a last minute viewer, in this case a pin hole projector made in 3 different ways but all just as effective!

Step 1: BoM

  • Cardboard box (I got a bunch from work)
  • Aluminium foil
  • Pin

Tools

  • Box cutter
  • Tape

Step 2: Design 1: Single-Eye Box Viewer

Picture of Design 1: Single-Eye Box Viewer
  • Tape the box shut with packing tape.
  • Cut a large hole and tape the aluminium foil over it, over the longest axis of the box (such that you can view a larger sun projection).
  • Cut a smaller hole for the eye to look through with a box cutter
  • Poke a tiny hole through the aluminium foil with a pin.

It is essential that the hole you poke is very very small, only the size of the pin and no larger!

Also another essential design tip, the longer the projection length, the largest the projected area, though blurrier, so try to find the optimal length you desire.

Step 3: Design 2: Paper Prism

Picture of Design 2: Paper Prism

  • Fold a piece of paper into a triangular prism.
  • Before taping it together, line one of the inner sides of the prism with aluminum foil. Then, tape it together.
  • Cut out two rectangular slots for the eye hole.
  • Make a tiny hole through the foil-layered side with a thumb tack.

Step 4: Design 3: Shameful Boxhead Viewer (BEST ONE!)

Picture of Design 3: Shameful Boxhead Viewer (BEST ONE!)

This is the design where I got laughed at by almost all my coworkers. However, it offers the best and most comfortable view.

  • Cut a large hole in the box, just barely enough for your head to fit through so very little light leaks in.
  • Tape a white piece of paper on the inside of the box on the far end of the head hole.
  • On the opposite side of the white paper, cut out a large rectangular hole and tape aluminium foil over it.
  • Then using a thumb tack, make a very small hole at the centre of the aluminium foil.

Step 5: Wear It With Pride

Picture of Wear It With Pride

  • Look at where your shadow is pointed and angle your box pointed down to the shadow of your head with the pinhole facing the sun.

Wear your eclipse viewer with pride because you know that no matter how shameful it may feel, you are enjoying the best view! (Even better resolution than those solar eclipse glasses)

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Bio: Aerospace Engineer working in Software Development with a passion for Hardware.
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