Introduction: Very Simple and Effective Solar Eclipse Viewer
As you all may know, there is a solar eclipse coming up on August 21, 2017, and if you live in the United States, you are bound to see an eclipse of some kind. But you cannot look directly into the eclipse or else you will hurt your eyes very badly. Even sunglasses don't provide enough protection of your eyes from the sun. There are some tutorials online that show how to make a eclipse viewer where you put your head in a box and look at a reflection of the sun, but to some people (like me), looking at a reflection is not enough they want to look at it directly in real time. However, I didn't want to spend the money on sun or welding filters that I'm only going to use once or twice in a lifetime, so I needed a more cost-effective system. One day, by accident, I stumbled across a very effective and cheap solution.
Step 1: Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Here's what you will need:
1 Dollar Tree Foam Board
1 X-acto Knife
2-3 Blank CD disks- these are going to be your sun filters, I recommend 3 for maximum protection on a bright afternoon, but 2 should be enough for a cloudy or sunset eclipse (in the near future)
Lots of tape or glue
*Note: Make sure that the CD disks are completely blank with no design or cover sticker on them or else they will obstruct your view of the sun.
Step 2: Step 2: Cut Out the Shapes and Assemble
According to the images above, cut each shape out to the exact dimensions and assemble them as stated below.
After cutting out the part letter 'A' put 3 blank disks over it and lay part 'B' on top of it.
Grab some tape and secure part 'B' to part 'A' tight enough that the disks will not slide out if you turn it over, but not too tight that you cannot remove the disks. Also, be careful not to get tape on the disks or else it will ruin them (I learned it the hard way)
Get part 'C' and curl up the right side to form a semicircle and tape/glue it to the left end of the part. This will cover any excess light from getting into your view.
Finally, take the completed part 'C' and tape/glue it flush against part 'A' to the side opposite of part 'B' and around the hole.
Optional, you can also take a rubber band, cut it in half, and glue it to your viewer in order to just strap it on your head instead of holding the viewer the whole time.
*Note: I did not provide the measurements for the nose indentation for part 'C' because everybody's noses are different. Cut it to the dimensions that fits you best.
Step 3: Step 3: the Procrastinator's Option
If you are a procrastinator (like me :P) or if you are reading this at the last second or minutes before the eclipse starts, just grab 2-3 CD disks (depending on how bright the sun is), stack them on top of each other, and look through the outer part of the disk them directly, it works just as well.