Point Of View: Solar Eclipse

Today, Monday August 21, 2017 we in North America had a front row seat to one of the solar systems’ great light shows, a solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and Sun and when the moon fully or partially blocks the sun. This happens only at new moon phase of the lunar cycle, when the sun and the moon are in conjunction as seen from the earth.  

I decided to try to see the eclipse using a Pinhole Projector. I created one using two card stock sheets and the results where illuminating.

This is what you need to create a Card Pinhole Projector.  

  • 2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 card stock sheets

  • A thumb tack, a sharp pin, or a needle


  1. To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny whole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumb tack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth.

  2. With your back towards the Sun, hold 1 piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper. 

  3. The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.

  4. To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.


  • 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, binoculars or telescope.

The projector worked and in the end I did get to see the eclipse and take a few nice pictures.

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