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Making a Pinhole Projector to See Eclipse

Don't risk serious damage to your eyes today by looking directly at the sun.

Astronomers are advising you to look at today's solar eclipse ver-r-r-r-y carefully.

How carefully?

Start by turning your back to the sun. Really.

"It is very important that everyone tempted by the sight of 84 percent of the sun's area being covered by the Moon take heed of the warnings you will hear for much of the coming week," , and a frequent radio commentator on all things astronomical.

People can watch by making do-it-yourself pinhole projectors. They view the eclipse by turning their back to the sun and letting the sun shine through the pinhole onto a piece of paper. From there, the progression of the moon's path can be seen.

If you're unprepared, or like to leave things to chance Sunday afternoon, you can even look at the shadows cast by leaves on trees. If there are bug holes in the leaves, they pretty much do the same thing as a pinhole projector, writes Gary Baker in the newsletter of the Peninsula Astronomical Society newsletter.

DIY: How Can One Watch the Eclipse Safely?

One easy way to make a pinhole projector: Take two pieces of cardboard or thick paper. Put a pinhole in one (taking care to make a clean hole). Then stand with your back to the Sun, and let the Sun’s light fall through the hole and onto the other sheet. You’ll get a small but distinct image of the Sun. (A way to get a sharper pinhole is to cut a square out of the middle of one cardboard, tape a sheet of aluminum foil over the hole and put the pinhole in the foil instead of paper.)

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