WATCH: How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer & Projector

If you’ve struck out trying to locate a pair of glasses to wear while watching Monday’s eclipse, there’s still time to make your own personal viewer and also a way to project the image for social gatherings.

There’s a few ways to make your own personal viewer using at-home tools pretty easily. To find out how to make a viewer using a few easy steps, click here.

For the risk of severely damaging your eyes, you never want to look directly at the sun. But with a part of the sun being covered during the eclipse, some people have the misconception that it’s safe to look without eye protection.

But some part of the sun’s core will be visible during the event, meaning eye protection is a necessity to avoid possible damage of the cornea of your eyes.

There is another, more complex way to make a top-of-the-line sun viewer for the eclipse if you are unable to score a pair of glasses. The end product is a projector used to show the eclipse to those around you. Here’s how to do it:

Tools needed:
– A pair of binoculars
– About two sheets of cardboard
– A tripod

Dr. Paul Doherty of the Exploratorium explains how to make the viewer in the video below:

How to Make a Solar Eclipse & Sun Viewer I ExploratoriumSenior Exploratorium Scientist, Paul Doherty demonstrates how you can make your own sun viewer. You can safely view sunspots, eclipses and transits with this equipment that you may have laying around the house! To learn more about viewing solar eclipses, visit: http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2012-02-14T19:37:21.000Z


Doherty describes the process of crafting the projector in the steps below.

1. Face the open end of the binoculars toward the sun and the eye piece toward a white piece of paper. Line it up so the sunlight comes through the eyepiece and onto the paper. Do NOT let anyone look through the binoculars at the sun.

To perform this task, you will have to mount the binoculars onto the tripod. If your binoculars aren’t set up to go onto a tripod (chances are that they won’t be), Doherty said he glued a 1/4″-20 piece available at a hardware store onto the binoculars “because the standard fitting on a tripod” is that measurement.

2. With the binoculars successfully screwed into the tripod, line it up so the shadow of the binocular on the white surface is a complete circle. You may experience difficulty seeing the image projected because the sun is shining on the paper. Therefore, you need to make a sun shield to project more of a shadow.

3. Take a piece of cardboard and cut out a circle, placing it onto the lens of the binoculars to act as a “sun shield.”

4. That’s it! The projected sun viewer you’ve just crafted is complete.



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