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Making Your Own Eclipse Glasses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making Your Own Eclipse Glasses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Watching a solar eclipse can be an incredible experience, but to keep it safe, it is essential that we protect our eyes from solar radiation. Eclipse glasses were specifically created for such events, enabling viewers to safely enjoy them. In this article, we’ll show you how to create your own eclipse glasses safely so you can enjoy their splendor without risk.

Solar eclipses are stunning celestial events. Unfortunately, staring directly into the sun during an eclipse is harmful to your eyes, but with some preparation, you can safely witness this natural marvel using special eclipse glasses. But if these prove costly or unavailable, don’t worry; home-made viewers are also possible using simple materials!

Before embarking on creating eclipse glasses for yourself, it’s essential to understand their risks. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can burn light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye (retina), potentially leading to permanent vision loss. Regular sunglasses don’t provide sufficient protection from such intense UV radiation exposure.

Eclipse glasses provide the solution. Their special filters block almost all sunlight, leaving only safe amounts of visible light through. But here’s the key: it is crucial that when creating eclipse glasses from tinted sunglasses or any other material than the recommended filter material (even tinted sunglasses can cause irreparable eye damage), only that specific filter material should be used; any other material could potentially prove fatal for your vision and can cause irreversible eye damage.

Safety Precautions: Ensuring Proper Eye Protection –

Eclipse Glasses

For DIY eclipse glasses, AstroSolar film is the only safe filter material. Available in various grades with different levels of light filtration, shade numbers indicate light filtering capabilities; 12 shade numbers or higher provide almost complete blockage of harmful UV and infrared radiation while still permitting visible light for viewing the eclipse.

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Creating Eclipse Glasses in Two Easy Steps

Now that we understand the importance of safe materials, let’s explore two simple techniques for making eclipse glasses:

Method 1: Reusing Cardboard (Great for Kids!)

Materials Needed for This Method:

  • Sturdy cardboard from cereal boxes or similar sturdy material and
  • AstroSolar Film with Shade 12 or Higher Protection rating.
  • Scissors or craft knife (adult supervision required), ruler, pencil and tape; instructions:

Cut Out the Main Body: for this step, use ruler and pencil to draw a rectangle on cardboard using your preferred dimensions, however large enough to comfortably surround your eyes when worn around your head. Cut this rectangle out using scissors.

Create Eyeholes:

Draw two circles spaced about 2.5 inches (6.3 cm). These will become eyeholes; carefully cut them out using scissors or a craft knife with adult supervision.

Attach the AstroSolar Film: Cut a piece of AstroSolar film slightly larger than your cardboard rectangle and secure it to its back using tape, making sure it covers completely any openings in it.

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Method 2: Retooling Safety Glasses to Add Durability

Materials needed include:

Safety glasses (with scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses) – Eclipse Glasses

AstroSolar film (12 shades or higher), scissors or craft knife, ruler and pencil for marking lines on your film, as well as tape or craft glue, are needed for this task. Once cut to size, follow these instructions to measure and cut the film:

Utilizing a ruler, take measurements for the lenses on your safety glasses. Cut two pieces of AstroSolar film slightly larger than your measurements to cover your lenses.

Carefully Apply Film: As per manufacturer instructions (if applicable), remove lenses from safety glasses frame (if possible) without scratching lenses! Apply a thin layer of tape or craft glue on each film piece’s back and carefully adhere it onto each lens without gaps or bubbles.

Reassemble Your Glasses (if needed): Once you’ve detached the lenses from their frames, carefully put them back into their frames using gentle pressure.

Follow Safety Steps and Tips When Wearing DIY Eyeglasses

Check Your Filters: It is also important to verify whether or not your filter has become blocked during its journey through use.

Before using eclipse glasses, hold them against a bright light source to ensure no light escapes except through eyeholes. Only look directly at the sun with suitable filters, as even brief exposure may harm your eyes.

Use eclipse glasses only for viewing eclipses; they should not be used as everyday sun protection. Keep an eye out when children use eclipse glasses! Always supervise children who wear eclipse glasses.

Beyond Cardboard: Exploring Alternative Methods for Safe Eclipse Viewing

While recycled cardboard and modified safety glasses may make excellent DIY eclipse viewers, there may be other solutions that work better, depending on your available resources and viewing preferences. Here are a few alternatives:

Watching Solar eclipse

Method 3: Pinhole Projector (Classic Technique)

This classic technique doesn’t involve creating glasses but provides a safe way of viewing an eclipse indirectly. With this approach, materials needed include two large pieces of sturdy cardboard like poster board or posterboard, Aluminium foil tape, pen/penciling needles (adult supervision required), as well as pen/pencils or sewing needles (adult supervision may be needed for some applications).

Scissors or craft knife (adult supervision required)

Instructions: To prepare the first cardboard piece:

Cut out a small rectangular opening on one piece of cardboard (2 inches by 4 inches), which will serve as an image viewer at the back of your projector.

Create the Pinhole: For best results, carefully poke a tiny hole using a pin or needle (under adult supervision) into a piece of aluminium foil, creating as small a hole as possible, remembering that smaller holes yield sharper images; however, too few can reduce projection too dimly. 

Securing the Foil: Once completed, securely fasten all corners to keep its projection lightproof and safe for future use.

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Attach the aluminium foil with its pinhole onto a second piece of cardboard; this will serve as the front panel of your projector.

Darkness is key.

Hold the cardboard piece with the pinhole facing towards the sun in a dimly-lit room or outdoors with sunlight behind you and watch how its rays pass through its aperture and produce an eclipse image on the rear cardboard piece with rectangular openings.

Method 4: Solar Observing Kits (For the Prepared Viewer)

Solar observing kits offer a safe alternative to making DIY eclipse glasses and usually include: Filters mounted onto frames similar to safety glasses provide safe viewing conditions; AstroSolar film ensures proper exposure of solar light.

Tripod adapter (optional): Some kits include tripod adapters to allow users to easily attach an eclipse filter to a telescope for magnified viewing of the eclipse.

Selecting the Appropriate Method Depending on Your Preferences and Resources

Your best method depends upon both personal preferences and available resources. Here’s a handy guide:

Repurposed cardboard glasses make an easy and quick choice for children who need glasses quickly. For something more durable and long-term, modified safety glasses offer a more reliable solution.

Pinhole projectors provide an indirect viewing experience and educational insight into an eclipse.

Solar Observing Kits and Filters Allow a Magnified View: Solar observing kits equipped with filters offer magnified views of eclipse events; however, you should follow safe solar viewing practices when using telescopes to look through.

Making eclipse glasses yourself can be an easy and cost-effective way to safely witness solar events like eclipses. By following our step-by-step guide above and prioritizing safety precautions, you can enjoy their majestic spectacle without risking eye damage or other possible issues.

An amazing solar eclipse experience awaits, yet safeguarding against harmful radiation exposure is paramount. By crafting eclipse glasses using approved filter material and following all safety guidelines provided, you can safely witness this magnificent spectacle of nature.

Take care to protect your vision when viewing solar events; taking necessary precautions is key to enjoying them safely. With some preparation and the appropriate tools, a solar eclipse can become something truly amazing to witness.


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