Quandary: How to view the solar eclipse without proper eyewear
Quandary, the old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to all questions about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Email your queries about Summit and the High Country to Quandary@summitdaily.com.
Is there a way to look at the eclipse without buying glasses or going blind?
Was it cheapness or laziness that kept you from securing the proper eyewear? Or maybe you’re against the eclipse from an ideological perspective — if so, feel free to head to the Bluegrass State where “Kentuckians for Cole” will actually be protesting the eclipse.
Regardless, of why you don’t have the fancy eyewear everybody and their brother seems to be playing Monty Hall for, the fact is you will not be able to look directly at the eclipse. Viewing the eclipse without some kind of eye protection can cause serious and permanent damage to your vision. I don’t mean sunglasses either. The proper viewing glasses are NASA approved and make it seem like you’re just looking into a black screen unless you’re staring at the sun.
However, if you have the cut-and-paste skills of a kindergartner, and one’s diet, you should be able to still enjoy the festivities. To create a projector all you need is a cereal or shoe box, some tinfoil, a piece of paper, tape, a thumbtack, pencil and the proper cutting utensils.
Pay close attention so you don’t get lost: Trace the bottom of the box. The taller your box, the larger the projection will be, which is why cereal and shoe boxes work best — it’s about time Tony the Tiger earned his keep anyway. Once you’ve traced the bottom, cut out your piece of paper and tape it to the bottom inside of your box. I’m hoping I don’t need to say this, but just in case: Open the top of the box in order to tape the rectangle to the inside bottom. If this step is too complicated, please go inside for the remainder of the eclipse, I can’t help you. No one can help you.
If you have made it past the first couple steps, proceed to close the top of your box. You will now cut holes on the left and right edges of the top of your box. Once both edges have been cut, use your tinfoil to cover one of the holes — left, right consider it a dealer’s choice — and tape the tinfoil to the box. You have almost reached the finish line at this point. To finish off your beautiful projector, use the thumbtack to poke a hole in the middle of the tinfoil. That’s it. You are now ready for the eclipse.
When it comes time for the big show, simply point yourself away from the sun. The light will come through the pinhole on top of your box allowing you to look through the other side of the box to see the projection of the sun on the bottom. Again, do not use this as some type of periscope to look at the sun, you will hurt yourself, and become just another statistic at the next optometrists’ convention.
If all of this proved to be just a few steps above your atmosphere, and your projector looks more like a Captain Crunch crime scene than a tool, you do still have options. Simply get a piece of paper, poke a hole in the middle of it and hold it up. When you look down at the ground, the sun will be projected through your paper onto whatever surface sits at your feet. You can also use a tree by putting a piece of paper on the ground and letting the leaves of the tree function as your filter. Basically, try your hand at some arts and crafts before trolling the Walmart parking lot looking to score some black-market shades.
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