How To Watch The Solar Eclipse Without Eclipse Glasses

Across the country, excitement is building for the 2017 solar eclipse. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years! The last one occurred on February 26, 1979, but few people were able to view it as it passed through just five states in the northwest and weather was bad.

The first place to experience totality in the continental U.S. will be on the waterfront at Government Point, Oregon at 10:15 AM PDT. There, totality will last 1 minute, 58 seconds. From there, the eclipse will travel along a west-to-east path. Carbondale, Illinois will experience the longest totality time at 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

While this is a not-to-be-missed experience, experts warn against looking directly at the eclipse without certified eclipse glasses to avoid eye damage. It’s also recommended not to look at an eclipse through the lens of a phone or telescope.

The solar eclipse also presents an excellent learning opportunity for teachers. While some parts of the country are still on summer vacation, others are back in school and planning for the eclipse. Some schools have opted to close or grant students an excused absence, while others are seizing the educational opportunity.

If you plan to view the eclipse with your students, you have a few options. Certified eclipse glasses are the safest way to view, but there are other options that make great projects for the classroom! A popular method of viewing an eclipse is to create a pinhole. To do this, simply pass sunlight through a small opening and project an image of the sun onto a nearby surface such as another card, a wall, or the ground.

There are a number of ways to create a pinhole projection – check out the National Science Foundation’s recommendations and instructions, or use one of these “wacky” ideas!

How are your students planning to view the eclipse?