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Three simple steps that could have you safely viewing the next solar eclipse


Andrew Yee, astronomer
May 14, 2012 — Ever wanted to observe a solar eclipse without the fear of damaging your eyes? Astronomer Andrew Yee breaks down three simple methods that could have you viewing the next solar eclipse unlike ever before.


These particular solar eclipse viewing glasses are available for order from Kendrick Astro Instruments in Toronto.
These particular solar eclipse viewing glasses are available for order from Kendrick Astro Instruments in Toronto.

It is extremely dangerous to view a solar eclipse without the proper eyewear protection. Even when the Sun is very close to the horizon or when there is a substantial cloud cover to dim the brightness of the Sun, it is not safe to view the eclipse through sunglasses or darkened glasses.
  
The following are three inexpensive, simple and safe methods for observing a solar eclipse:  

Method 1: Pinhole Projection  

Take a piece of cardboard and punch a tiny hole in the middle with a thumbnail or a pin. The cardboard becomes a pinhole projector.  

Use this cardboard pinhole projector to project an image of the eclipsed Sun on another cardboard or flat surface behind it. Remember, do not look through the pinhole projector! 

Method 2: Special Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses  

Use a specially made certified solar eclipse viewing glasses. When you get the glasses, make sure that there is no major scratch or a split in the special film on the glasses.
 
Method 3: Solar Eclipse Public Observing Event  

Check your local astronomy club or regional science center to see if there might be a public viewing event.

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