Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar Eclipse

Well, completely unprepared and yet apparently good enough at improvising, after a little research, I was able to create a pinhole camera out of a Pepsi 12-pack box and several viewers for the kids out of sheets of white cardstock and a thumbtack (for making a hole) -- and we were able to view the eclipse here in Albuquerque!

S actually missed out because she's at a Tim Hawkins* show with friends, but we took the other four kids (and I gave my sister and nieces some viewers so they could check out the eclipse on their own), and went to a nearby park with a good view of the sun in that part of the sky.

C was extremely skeptical of my hack viewers, but I assured him that I'd researched and everything.  By the time we started checking out the sun through the viewers, even he became a believer.  He was shocked and amazed!

So anyway, here are a handful of highly-amateur photos that I captured of the eclipse.  Enjoy!

We experimented with different kinds of "holes" besides the ones in our cardstock and our pinhole camera.  Even the OK sign by hand worked pretty well.

And H's watchband.

Here's when the moon is exactly centered in front of the sun, looking through the pinhole in a piece of cardstock.

Here is the fully eclipsed sun as seen through the pinhole camera.

And finally, here's our view through the sun-shelter over the picnic tables.  The moon was really too small (or too far away) to see the ring of fire (and darkness of near-night) where we were, which was a little disappointing.  However, we still had fun experiencing this as a family and experimenting with these impromptu viewing devices.


* I'm including this bonus Tim Hawkins video, because it's one of my favorites of his...


  1. Wow, that's so cool what you did with the watchband and stuff! Clever! And isn't it weird that the shadow ends up being the shape of the sun? I don't quite understand why it does that.

    Also, I love the one through the sunshade. That's really cool! Even though it wasn't dark, it was still like a ring! I've never seen that before!

  2. I like them all, too, especially the photo of the sun through the shade.

    After Dad and I had tried to take several pictures of the sun through a pinhole reflecting on white cardboard, I happened to glance at my shadow on the garage door; the crescent shapes were reflected in my hair. I was amazed and reached up to touch my hair and the shadow of my hand held several crescent replactions. It's crazy.

    Don't worry, you'll get a better chance at a total eclipse in 2017!

    PS. Love the homeschool video!