How To Make An Eclipse Viewer From A Shoebox So You Don't Miss 2017's Major Solar Eclipse

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Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there's only love in the dark, nothing I can say, it's going to be a total eclipse of the ... sun? Starting in the late morning of Aug. 21, 2017, the moon will pass between the path of the sun and the Earth and a solar eclipse will occur. Not only that, but it'll be visible to parts of the U.S. for the first time in 40 years — reaching a continent-wide totality for the first time in 99 years. Needless to say, this sky event is worth looking up for. Unfortunately though, it's not as easy as just looking up.

Technically, you're never supposed to look directly up at the sun, as it can be incredibly damaging to your eyes. But during a solar eclipse, you're really not supposed to look up at the sun, especially without protective eyewear or an eclipse viewer. And while there are all kinds of things that you can order online, they're actually not that hard to make by hand. I know, it sounds like an overcomplicated science project thats going to give you flashbacks from middle school and cause your t-zone to get oily thanks to a post-traumatic flashback — but trust me, it's really not complicated. Plus, you can save some money and treat yourself to a post-eclipse brunch or ice cream sundae.

If you want to watch the total solar eclipse ( which you do, because c'mon! It's a super special opportunity that won't come around again until 2024!), here's how you can put together your own solar eclipse viewer:

1. Get A Shoebox

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C'mon you have one. Look in your closet.

2. Cut A Hole

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Next, cut a small one inch hole in one end of the shoe box, just near the edge.

3. Tinfoil It

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Tape a piece of tinfoil over said hole.

4. Punch A Hole

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Using something super small like a pen, pin, or needle to punch a hole in the center of the foil. Make sure it's nothing more than a pinhole.

5. Add Paper

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Get a small piece of white paper and tape it to the inside of the box. You'll tape it to the side that's opposite from the foil, so that the light that enters the box through the pin hole will hit the white paper.

7. Watch The Eclipse By Holding The Shoebox Over Your Head, With The Tinfoil Behind You And The Paper In Front Of You

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When you're ready to watch the eclipse, hold your shoe box face down over your head, so that it's aligned with the sun on the tinfoil side — you'll likely have to tilt it down a bit so that the shadow of the eclipse is projected onto the paper on the other side of the box. And that's it! Watch the white piece of paper through your viewing hole — done and done!