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If you can’t attend an event organised by an astronomy club, take advantage of the morning at the Cité de l’Espace or don’t have special glasses, don’t worry, all is not lost! Here’s a simple and safe way to see the eclipse: all you need are two sheets of paper, a ballpoint pen and a sharp object!
Make a small hole (just with the point of a ballpoint pen or a compass or needle) in one of the two sheets. Then, hold the sheets as indicated in the photo below. Hold the sheet with the hole up to the sun and place the other in its shadow. Using the pinhole principle, an image of the solar disk will appear on the sheet in shadow. You will then see the Sun’s crescent created by the eclipse in complete safety and can even share this image with those around you.
This trick can be improved by using a slightly larger piece of card for the pierced sheet (stronger, especially in case of wind) and placing the sheet of paper on which the projection appears on a support placed in the shade in order to increase the image’s contrast.
Published 18 March 2015