Waited until the very last minute to get your eclipse sunglasses? Don’t freak out! Simply follow these steps.
The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from the United States was on July 11, 1991. Even then, it was only visible from Hawaii — which means most of the American population was pretty much left out. Not this time, folks! The universe’s greatest spectacle is back, and it can be seen through a large chunk of the United States.
Of course, experiencing an eclipse with the naked eye is harmful. Experts recommend using appropriate eyewear, or some sort of indirect eclipse viewer. If you’ve delayed getting a pair of eclipse sunglasses, chances are you won’t find a pair, or you’ll pay upwards of $25 for them. Trust us, we tried.
As a result, we’ve referred to this handy video by NASA Goddard. The tutorial shows a step-by-step guide on how to make your very own viewer utilizing items you already have at home. We set out to build our own and found out how quick and easy it was. That being said, the video left out a few crucial details, so make sure to read our instructions.
Eclipse Sunglasses DIY
- 1 empty cereal box
- 1 white sheet of paper
- 1 pencil
- A pair of scissors
- Adhesive tape
- Aluminum foil (about a 10×10 piece)
- 1 nail or sharp object of small diameter (pen, screwdriver, etc.)
- Create your viewing screen
Begin by laying down the piece of paper on a flat surface, and lay the cereal box on top of it. Use your pen to trace the bottom of the box on the paper. Cut the rectangle from the rest of the sheet, and apply adhesive tape to one side. Carefully prop open your empty cereal box and place the adhesive side of the rectangle at the bottom of the box. Once it’s in there, carefully push on it so it’s nice and flat. This is where you will see the projection of the eclipse, so the nicer the better.
Tip: Unlike instructed in the video, don’t cut directly on the line you traced around the box. Cut a few millimeters inside the line, as the inside of the box is technically smaller than the outside. Failure to do so will result in a bunched up and wrinkled viewing screen.
- Create the Intake
Cut two rectangles at the top of the box. (Once we cut out both sides we reinforced the middle with tape, that way the box remained strong and didn’t flop around.) Next, lay your sheet of foil over the left opening and figure out how much to trim to make it fit. As seen in the picture above, cutting some sort of inverted “T” works best. Lastly, lay the foil over the opening and secure it with tape.
Tip: the flatter or “neater” your foil rests over the opening, the clearer the image will be.
- Let the Sun Through!
The last step is to use a nail or another sharp object to puncture a small hole in the center of the foil.
Stand with your back against the eclipse. DO NOT FACE THE ECLIPSE. The reflection of the eclipse will penetrate through the tiny hole on the foil, and project a reflection on the white sheet of paper. You will witness the spectacle through the cutout on the right side of the box.
Disclaimer: LIP Media LLC and its outlets and affiliates shall not be held liable in the case of a health hazard. This project was based on a video published by respectable source, yet is simply recreational and does not have any scientific backing.