No eclipse glasses? No problem. There's a hack for that - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

No eclipse glasses? No problem. There's a hack for that


OAK HILL, W.Va. (WVVA) It's no secret that staring at the sun is a bad idea, but it's particularly bad during an eclipse, when for nearly three hours millions of people across the globe are resisting the temptation to look up.

After learning nearly all of the NASA-approved eclipse viewing glasses were sold out in Southern West Virginia on Thursday, WVVA News sought out to see if there is another way to enjoy the eclipse.

The short answer is 'yes,' according to Oak Hill High School Science Teacher Ashley Chouinard. 

"All you need is cardboard aluminum, foil, and tape, or a mirror and an envelope," she explains.

Cut a hole in the middle of one sheet of card stock, tape the edges of a tin foil section over it, then carefully pierce the center of the foil with the needle. " You're not even looking at the sun. You're just pointing the box in that direction." 

The box exploits a property of light called diffraction to bend and magnify the light. In this case, that's the eclipsing sun. 

Chouinard's next trick involves even less work. 

"The second thing you can do is slide a mirror into an envelope and then you cut a half inch hole inside the envelope. Then you just aim the mirror at the sun and it will reflect back and bounce off of whatever you have, whether it's the wall or the ground." 

As for learning about the dangers of looking into the sun with your naked eye, it turns out there is a hack for that, too.

"Your eyes don't bounce back the way your skin would. Take a magnifying glass over bugs. It has the same impact on your eyes." 

The moon will be in the sun's path starting at 1:09 pm and continue for  2 hours, 49 minutes.

The best time to see the peak of the eclipse will be 2:36 p.m. in Southern West Virginia. 

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