Yesterday’s post had me discuss the partial Solar Eclipse that occurred around sunset for most of North America. The one thing I neglected to mention was regarding safe viewing of it.
In reality if you saw the sun with your bare eyes during a partial eclipse, it looks like the sun any other time of day – its bright. Don’t damage your eyes.
I found a bit of time in the afternoon to build a pinhole camera, which basically consists of a tube or box with a pinhole in one end and a film or ‘viewing area’ at the other end. Here is a good breakdown of how one works and how to build it. Mine was not this nice. I used a box for the chamber, and taped a paper plate onto the open side of the box. I punched a small hole on the plate using scissors, and cut a small hole in the box so I could view the image. Total time ~ 3 mins.
The pinhole camera worked, but the image was far too small as the box wasn’t big enough to give a good focal length.
See that tiny orange dot? Yup that’s the Sun. I could still see the eclipse happen, but man did I have to focus…live and learn.
On the plus side, I met another person viewing the eclipse from on high where I was, and her camera was ale to catch the eclipse using this weird property where you see multiple images of the sun with decreasing brightness through the lens. I think its due to multiple reflections within the camera optics.
— Kimberly Mallett (@KimberlyMallett) October 23, 2014
This is not a direct image of the sun, but it actually a crop of the reflection effect. The actual Sun was much closer to the horizon. Cool Technique, here’s what it looked like from my perspective:
So all in all it was a pretty decent experience for like 15 minutes. I learned how to NOT make a pinhole camera. I learned that I should buy a real camera. And I learned that I should make more time to prepare for the August 2017 eclipse – maybe a day or two….