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Solar Eclipse Pinhole Viewer


Solar Eclipse Pinhole Viewer

By Adventure Science Center

Did you know that Nashville will get to experience a TOTAL solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017?! Get prepared for safe viewing of this once-in-a-lifetime celestial phenomenon by making your own quick-and-easy solar eclipse pinhole viewer!


  1. Eclipse–
    (noun) the total or partial hiding of a planet, star, or moon by another.
  2. Inverted–
    (verb) to turn inside out or upside down.
  3. Projection–
    (noun) the act or process of projecting something on a surface (as by motion pictures or slides).
  4. Sunspots–
    (noun) one of the dark spots that appear from time to time on the sun’s surface and are usually visible only through a telescope .


  • White cardboard (2)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin

Safety Notes:

  • NEVER look at the sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the sun’s rays can do to them.
  • Always keep your back towards the sun while looking at a pinhole projection.
  • Do not look at the sun through the pinhole.


  1. Cut a small square (~3 in.) into one of your cardboard pieces.
  2. Tape a piece of your aluminum foil over the hole.
  3. Use your safety pin to make a small hole in the middle of the foil.
  4. Place your second piece of white cardboard on the ground. Facing away from the sun, hold your pinhole cardboard as far from the white cardboard as you can. You should be able to see an inverted image of the sun projected on your cardboard!

Can you see any dark spots on your projected image? If so, you’ve found sunspots!

Practice making your own pinhole projector so you’ll be ready for the big day in 2017!




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