Monday’s total solar eclipse has been getting lots of attention. Road trips, parties, live streams, and wall-to-wall media coverage are planned as millions of people look forward to this rare occurrence.
Whatever plans you have for commemorating the eclipse, always remember: do not look directly at the sun during the eclipse (or any other time, for that matter). Your eyes will suffer damage if you do.
Well, turn around, bright eyes—we’ve collected a few tips on how to safely enjoy the eclipse—and a couple of ways Draper can help.
Just Don’t Look
Dave Trapani, Draper’s regional sales manager for the northeast, is an amateur astrophotographer who has viewed several eclipses. He’s taking August 21 off just so he can spend the day getting pictures and making observations. His all-caps advice is: NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT THE AID OF A CERTIFIED SOLAR FILTER.
As we mentioned above, you can suffer severe eye damage by looking directly at the eclipse. To remove the temptation to do just that, close your window shades. If your shades have a high openness factor—10% or more—play it safe and don’t look out at the sun through the open weave. If you have dual roller shades, lower the room darkening fabric.
If you decide to take your eyes into your own hands and watch it, there are a couple of ways to go about direct viewing. The least expensive and easiest way is to get yourself a pair of solar viewing glasses. For a closer look, you can use binoculars, a camera, or a telescope, but they must be fitted with solar filters.
Build a pinhole camera
This is a very simple device anyone can make at home. You are basically cutting a small hole in one surface—such as a piece of paper or side of a shoebox—and projecting the image of the eclipse onto a second surface.
Click here for instructions on building your own pinhole camera.
Invite friends over, roll down that beautiful Draper projection screen, and watch live coverage of the eclipse. There are many options, including streams from NASA, space.com, and more. Astronomy.com is even hosting a 4K live stream from Denver. If you’re fortunate enough to be watching on an ISF-certified, 8k-ready TecVision viewing surface, you’ll get a perfect picture with spot-on colors.
Click here for Space.com’s list of the various live streams available.
The next total solar eclipse visible in North America isn’t until 2024, so you have plenty of time to prepare. To get ready with your own window shades and projection screen, click here.
Draper’s Dave Trapani will be posting images of the eclipse here.