Intro: How to Make a Solar Eclipse at Home
This is a super simple and fun tutorial that shows you how to make a solar eclipse at home! This DIY project is fun for kids and adults of all ages. Plus it will last long after the solar eclipse is over!
Step 1: Required Items
This project is fairly simple and requires items you may already have lying around the house. In order to create the solar eclipse you will need: a light bulb, styrofoam ball, turntable, wooden dowel, paint brush, some dark paint and an adjustable light.
The items I used for this project (except for the adjustable light) can be purchased from Amazon using the links below:
Supplies used in this video:
Light Bulb: http://amzn.to/2vaaTCW
Styrofoam Ball: http://amzn.to/2vRmU28
Turntable / Wooden Dowel: http://amzn.to/2vRmU28
Paint Brush: http://amzn.to/2vRmU28
Grey Paint: http://amzn.to/2vRmU28
Step 2: Create Your Moon!
The first step of this project is to create the moon for the solar eclipse. For this, all you need to do is paint your styrofoam ball and wooden dowel with a dark paint. I used "Pavement Grey" but regular grey or black will do just as well.
Once the styrofoam ball and wooden dowel are painted, insert the wooden dowel into the styrofoam ball so that the dowel acts like a stand for the ball to sit on.
Your moon is done!
Step 3: Attach the Moon and the Turntable
Once your moon is created, it is now time to attach the moon, wooden dowel and turntable together.
Just to be clear, the turntable I purchased was a double layered turn table which came with wooden dowels to attach the second layer. If your turntable did not come with a wooden dowel, you can purchase the wooden dowel separately (or get creative and use a pen/pencil, glue stick etc.). Simply attach the wooden dowel to your turn table using glue (hot glue, super glue) or get creative and use some clay (play dough, modeling clay etc.) so that your moon is standing upright.
Once it is attached, give it a spin and make sure that it won't fall over.
Step 4: Set Up the Sun
Once your moon is attached to the turntable, it is now time to set up the sun! For this, simply place your lightbulb into your adjustable light. Place the light a few inches away from the moon, and adjust the height so that the sun (light bulb) is slightly higher than the moon (styrofoam ball/wooden dowel attached the the turntable).
Turn on the light, give your turntable a spin and make sure that they do not hit each other while rotating.
Step 5: Make Adjustments
If you have reached this step, you should now be done creating and attaching every part that you need. All that is left to do it adjust the distance of the moon (styrofoam ball) and the sun (light bulb).
The best way I found to do this is to set my camera up directly facing the sun (light bulb). I then moved the turntable either closer to my camera to make the moon bigger, or farther way from my camera to make the moon smaller. Once the moon appeared to be the same size as the sun in my camera, I called it good.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Very Own Solar Eclipse!
It is now time to enjoy your solar eclipse! If your adjustments in the previous step were done properly, the moon should appear to completely cover the sun as you rotate the turntable and they pass one another! If not, make some minor adjustments to the distance between the moon and sun until you are happy with the effect.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!