Solar eclipse viewing safety

Okay, now we’re really feeling like naggy mothers, but here’s a reminder again:

Do not look at the Sun or a solar eclipse with your naked eyes. 

Looking at the Sun without proper solar filters or other such protection, even briefly, could hurt your eyes, and possible cause blindness.

This applies to looking at partial solar eclipses too. Even if 99% of the Sun was covered, the 1% that is still visible is still 10,000 times brighter than the full Moon.

We listed out good ways to catch a solar eclipse in a couple of earlier posts (part 1 and 2), but this topic bears a second mention.


Good ways of catch a solar eclipse are:


The safest way to view the Sun’s disc is by indirect projection, such as the pinhole projection method, or a pinhole camera.

First, poke a small hole (about 1 mm in diameter) through a piece of paper or cardboard.

Let sunlight go through that hole onto a second piece of paper, cardboard or clean surface which serves as a screen. Practically any plain surface will do, like the paper plate in the picture below.

An inverted image of the Sun will be projected.

Let the pinhole be small, about 1 mm in diameter. If the pinhole is too wide, it will just be a shaft of light passing through the hole.

To make the image larger, move the pinhole away from the screen.

Photo: Mila ZinkovaEclipse-assiette

By the way, it’s exciting and all, and the projection may not look that bright, but do not look through the pinhole at the Sun.



An adaptation of the Pinhole Projection Method of viewing a solar eclipse — projection using binoculars or a telescope.

Point a pair of binoculars (with one of the lenses covered) or a telescope towards the Sun and hold a white piece of paper behind the eyepiece.

An image of the sun will come out the eyepiece and shine onto the paper, like an overhead projector would shine onto a screen. As the eclipse happens, you can see it in the image of the Sun on the paper.

The projection can be made small, or onto a big plain surface for many to enjoy.

Here are some examples of the setup:

Photo: Luis Fernández GarcíaPhoto: Luis Fernández GarcíaPhoto: Kasos fr

Erm, again, do not look through the telescope or binoculars at the Sun.


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