Make a pinhole camera to watch eclipse safely - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Make a pinhole camera to watch eclipse safely

It's not pretty, but it works. You can make a pinhole camera from materials you have on hand. (Source: Jacob Saylor/Raycom Media) It's not pretty, but it works. You can make a pinhole camera from materials you have on hand. (Source: Jacob Saylor/Raycom Media)

(RNN) - The special glasses you need to view the Great American Eclipse are in short supply, but if you haven’t gotten a pair yet, relax. There's an easy, cheap and safe way to view the eclipse, which should never, ever be viewed with the naked eye.

Build a pinhole camera. It’s easy. You can probably find everything you need in the closet and a few kitchen drawers:

  • A cardboard box
  • Tape, preferably dark and opaque
  • A box cutter or a real sharp knife
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • A piece of white paper
  • A pencil and a ruler
  • A tack or needle to punch a small hole in the tinfoil

I could describe how to make it, but why not just watch the video?

Pro tips: Make it a few days before the eclipse so you can test it. Make sure you have plugged all “light leaks” so the inside of the box is completely dark. Measure twice, cut once.

Warning: Science ahead

The image you will see on the screen inside the box will be flipped, like in a mirror, and upside-down. That’s because light waves bend when they pass through a lens – the pinhole is a simple lens. The beams will converge to form the image you see. More here on the science of pinhole cameras.

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