Sky Watch: Total Solar Eclipse August 21

Readers in North America who have been hiding under rocks, there’s a total solar eclipse headed our way on August 21. DO NOT look at a solar eclipse directly. You will go blind.

Watching the Eclipse Safely

Instead, you’ll need to either buy some eclipse glasses (which I hear are in short supply), or make a pinhole projector. Making a pinhole projector will take some advance planning, but not much. Fifteen minutes should do it.

How to make a pinhole projector in 15 minutes or less, using stuff you have at home

Lots of other people have posted instructions on the web for how to make one of these, so I’m not going to duplicate their effort. Instead, I’ll just share some options:

Happy viewing!

Related Links: 

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Experiments, Nature, Out and About, Science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sky Watch: Total Solar Eclipse August 21

  1. rayworth1973 says:

    Meh. Not part of the madness. My astronomy club, well most of them are travelling two days or one very long day up to Oregon and Idaho or whatever to see all glorious two minutes of it. I’m going to get my special glasses, go out during breaks at work, go “Ooh” and “aaah” and that’s about it.

    Been there, done that.


    On the other hand, I just spent last night (Saturday) out at my observing site under a dark sky with NO MOON and observed a couple of galaxies, a planetary nebula, a trio of dark nebulae, and a whole bunch of open star clusters. It was a very productive night!

    Now THAT was worth the 36 miles from the house!


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