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Make a Simple Pinhole Projector

7/05/17

Make a Simple Pinhole Projector

By Marcin Chojnowski, Eclipse Intern

With only 47 days until totality hits Nashville during the Music City Solar Eclipse, NOW is the time to start getting your family prepared to view the sun safely on this big day.

Use the following steps to make a simple pinhole projector at home.

Materials:

2 pieces of construction paper (one should be white); cardboard also works well for this project

A pin / small hole-puncher

Procedure:

  1. Take one piece of construction paper (the one that isn’t white) or your cardboard, and use your pin or small hole-puncher to make a hole in the center of the paper
  2. Lay the white piece of construction paper on the ground
  3. Locate the sun’s position in the sky and turn around so that the sun is behind you
  4. Hold up your construction paper with the hole in it so that sunlight can pass through the hole.
    Do not look through the pinhole directly at the sun!
  5. If it’s lined up correctly, you will see an image of the sun on the white piece of paper

EXPLORE MORE

Notice how the hole you made is circular in shape. Try making other “pinholes” using different shapes such as a square, triangle, or star and see how that impacts or changes the image you first saw through a circular pinhole!

What you should notice is that there are no changes. The shape of the pinhole does not affect the final image.

Why does this happen? Check out this article that goes further in depth on the topic of camera obscura!

– Marcin Chojnowski, ASC Eclipse Intern

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