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No Eclipse Glasses? View it With This DIY Pinhole Projector Instead

Towns In Midwest Prepare For Influx Of Tourists For Upcoming Eclipse
Scott Olson, Getty Images

If you don’t have glasses, and you’re not Superman, this is an easy way to view the eclipse with just two pieces of paper.

My husband and I waited too long to get our eclipse glasses and now it’s impossible to find those suckers (the main event is today, after all). Here’s the thing, if you don’t protect your eyes, or watch this solar phenomenon through another safe means, you could seriously damage your eyes. Medical cases of eye problems go up significantly after a total solar eclipse comes to town.

So what can you do if you don’t have glasses?

Make a pinhole projector! My husband suggested this and I looked at him like he was crazy. To me, projectors meant those giant light up machines with the long necks that teachers used in elementary school. But this one requires no bulbs, no heavy lifting, and no nostalgia.

All you need are two pieces of paper and a thumb tack.

1. Punch a hole in Paper 1  with the thumb tack

2. Place Paper 2 on the ground

3. Hold Paper 1 over Paper 2 so that the sun light is projected onto Paper 2 through the hole you just created. (Do NOT look at the sun to align yourself).

4. Watch as the solar eclipse is then projected onto Paper 2 and you will see the crescent as the sun moves through the sky.

Some people use a box to do this as well. They poke a hole in the top of the box (as it sits on a table) and cut another viewing hole in the side of the box. This will allow you to peek into the box and watch a similar projection.

Here’s an easy “How-To” video for your paper pinhole projector:

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