Can you see the sliver of light inside the box Sprite is holding? That’s the image we saw through our pinhole viewer. You can see how much of the sun was blocked by the moon, but still it was so bright that Sprite had to close her eyes against the sun. (This is posed just for a photo. I wanted her face with the eclipse image together. In the other photos you can see how we used the pinhole viewers to observe the eclipse.)
When I realized last night that from where we live we would be able to view the solar eclipse, I scurried around searching for information about how to safely view an eclipse. We constructed two viewers, packed a small bag with extra foil, tape, and pins, and planned some places to watch. As it turned out, our own apartment complex was perfect! And we were able to share our viewers with our neighbors who were using unsafe methods (x-rays, exposed photo film, sunglasses, binoculars, & cardboard with holes in it).
Here is my husband, setting up the viewer and showing our neighbors how it works.
Here is one of the first views we had of the eclipse. Just a tad of the sun is blocked by the moon.
The media here was not warning people of the dangers of looking directly at the sun. In fact when I studied the local newspaper for an eclipse time schedule, I saw two photos of children wearing something like 3D theater glasses and another photo of people looking through a telescope!
Here are neighbors using X-rays to view the eclipse. NOT SAFE; DO NOT TRY THIS.
The sun is behind Sprite and entered a small pinhole at the end of the tube that’s over her shoulder. The image of the sun appeared at the other end which we viewed through a window cut in the side of the tube. This tube was perfect! Thank you, Amazon! (I ordered a map recently.)
The cereal box viewer (yes, this is Chinese Trix) was adequate but because it was shorter did not provide as large of an image as the tube pinhole viewer.
Here’s a view of the eclipse in the cereal box.
As time went on, more of the sun was eclipsed.
And even more.
You can see that it’s getting darker around us.
Now just a sliver of the sun is left.
The streetlamps came on, and traffic stopped. In our area, we did not have a total, 100% eclipse. According to our local newspaper, our eclipse was 99.9% though. It did get dark, but not totally black. The power of the sun amazed me at that moment. I was getting only .1% of the sun’s light, and although it was dark, I could still see around me! Another observation was the immediate cool that we felt as the sun’s rays were blocked. Of course, we know scientifically the power of the sun, but to experience it in this way was quite stunning to me.
Then in about two minutes, the sky started to brighten, just like a very speedy dawn. We watched the sun’s image grow larger and larger in our pinhole viewer until everyone else had wandered off and the ladies brought their vegetables out to dry in the sunshine.
Back inside, I gave Sprite a list of questions about a solar eclipse; she chose to answer them with a lapbook. I’ll blog that tomorrow since she’s still working on the cover.