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How to view a solar eclipse

There is a lot of debate over what is safe and what isn't. Some methods you may be familiar with, such as looking through the the silver part of a compact disc, are considered potentially unsafe by Sky and Telescope magazine.

Glasses:

One of the most common, and perhaps safest, ways to view an eclipse is through a pair of mylar glasses or a pair of number 14 welders glasses.

Photography:

You can use an ordinary camera -- single lens reflex camera is best

Filter: During partial phase, use a mylar or glass filter to reduce brightness and protect your eyes. Aluminized mylar or metalized glass filters are the best.

Focal length: Needs to be longer than 500 mm in focal length.

Projection:

Simplest and least expensive

Poke a small hole in a piece or cardboard or index card and hold a second piece of paper 3 feet behind it. The hole will project a small, inverted image of the eclipse on the second sheet of paper.

A larger hole make the image fuzzy, a smaller one is sharper.

Safety tips:
  • Never stare directly at the sun even during an eclipse.
  • Use a tripod with your camera and the proper filter.
  • Binoculars and telescopes should also have the proper filters.
  • You can damage your eyes by looking into a camera, binoculars or telescope without the proper filters.

For more tips, click here

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