Unless you’ve been living on the dark side of the moon, you know a solar eclipse is happening over North America Monday. On August 21, the path of totality, under which you can see a total eclipse of the sun, will pass over 14 U.S. states from Oregon to South Carolina.
To look directly at the phenomenon in the sky, you’ll need a pair of eclipse glasses to protect your eyes. But, if you’re lacking the special spectacles, there’s still a way to view the eclipse: make a simple pinhole projector. You may remember these from middle school science class, but the easy DIY still does the trick. Grab a few household items and check out the instructions below and in the NASA video tutorial above.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Sheet of white paper
- Place a piece of plain white paper under the bottom of your cereal box, trace the shape and cut it out.
- Tape the piece of paper inside the bottom of the box.
- Cut two rectangles at each corner of the top of the box.
- Cover the left corner with a piece of aluminum and tape to secure.
- Poke a hole in the center of the foil with a nail.
When it’s time to view the eclipse, stand with your back to the sun and look into the right hole. The light will pass through the nail hole on the left and create a projection on the white paper in the bottom of the box. As the moon passes in front of the sun, watch the spot of light become a crescent and, during a total solar eclipse like the one passing over the U.S., disappear completely before emerging on the other side. For more information about eclipse viewing and safety visit nasa.gov.