Spark the Conversation

Make your own solar eclipse viewer

August 18, 2017
Posted By: TELUS Spark

People across North America are preparing for an exciting astronomical event taking place on Monday, August 21 as the moon silhouettes itself in front of the sun in a solar eclipse.

Here in Calgary we’ll see a partial solar eclipse as about 80% of the sun will be covered by the moon. A solar eclipse of this magnitude is actually not as rare as you might think – solar eclipses happen all the time! However, the eclipse taking place on August 21 is the first time since 1979 that a total solar eclipse will be visible coast-to-coast in the United States and the last time we’ll see a partial eclipse in Canada until 2023.

In preparation for the big event, everyone has been trying to get their hands on a pair of solar eclipse shades to protect their eyes from the sun. It is very dangerous to look directly at the sun without proper eye protection or equipment (more on that here) – but it’s especially difficult to resist the temptation to look up during an astronomical event like an eclipse.

With the eclipse just days away, solar shades are now incredibly hard to come by - we are completely sold out here at TELUS Spark! Didn’t get a pair? Not to worry! You can still enjoy the magic of the eclipse with this easy arts and crafts project.

Here are the simple steps it takes to make your own pinhole projector to safely view the silhouette of the eclipse.

Materials:

  • Paper plate
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Tinfoil
  • Tape
  • Pin

DIY viewer

Watch the silhouette here

The bigger the hole you make in the tinfoil with the pin, the larger the silhouette will be.

Happy viewing, everyone!

Join us on Monday for TELUS Spark's Great North American Eclipse Party. You'll learn about the science of eclipses, take a peek at the eclipse through our solar telescopes and even make your own pinhole projector. It's all included with your TELUS Spark admission or Membership!