If you are planning to watch the solar eclipse on Saturday, October 14, 2023, you might be wondering how to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. You can buy special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, from reputable vendors, but they might be sold out or expensive. Alternatively, you can make your own solar eclipse glasses at home with some simple materials and a few steps. Here is a guide to help you craft your own solar eclipse glasses and enjoy the celestial spectacle safely.
What You Need
To make your own solar eclipse glasses, you will need the following items:
- A pair of regular eyeglasses or sunglasses that fit you well
- A sheet of high-quality, ISO-certified solar film (you can buy it online or from a local astronomy store)
- A pair of scissors
- A ruler
- A pencil
- Some tape
How to Cut the Solar Film
The first step is to cut the solar film into two pieces that will cover the lenses of your eyeglasses or sunglasses. To do this, follow these steps:
- Place your eyeglasses or sunglasses on a flat surface and trace the outline of the lenses on the solar film with a pencil.
- Cut out the shapes with scissors, leaving some extra margin around the edges.
- Make sure the solar film is smooth and free of any wrinkles, holes, or scratches.
How to Attach the Solar Film
The next step is to attach the solar film to your eyeglasses or sunglasses. To do this, follow these steps:
- Place the solar film over the lenses of your eyeglasses or sunglasses and align them carefully.
- Tape the solar film to the frames of your eyeglasses or sunglasses, making sure there are no gaps or overlaps.
- Trim any excess solar film with scissors.
How to Test Your Solar Eclipse Glasses
The final step is to test your solar eclipse glasses before using them for viewing the eclipse. To do this, follow these steps:
- Look at a bright light source, such as a lamp or a flashlight, through your solar eclipse glasses. You should not see anything except a dim orange glow.
- If you see any light leaks, holes, or cracks in the solar film, discard your solar eclipse glasses and make a new pair.
- Do not look at the sun directly through your solar eclipse glasses until the day of the eclipse.
How to Use Your Solar Eclipse Glasses
On the day of the eclipse, you can use your solar eclipse glasses to view the partial phases of the eclipse safely. To do this, follow these steps:
- Put on your solar eclipse glasses and look at the sun. You should see a dark disk covering part of the sun’s surface.
- Do not remove your solar eclipse glasses until the sun is completely blocked by the moon (totality). This will only happen in some locations and for a few minutes.
- During totality, you can remove your solar eclipse glasses and enjoy the sight of the sun’s corona and other features. Do not look at the sun without your solar eclipse glasses before or after totality.
- When totality ends, put on your solar eclipse glasses again and watch the moon move away from the sun.
Enjoy the Solar Eclipse!
Making your own solar eclipse glasses at home is a fun and easy way to prepare for the upcoming eclipse. By following this guide, you can ensure that you have a safe and comfortable viewing experience. Remember to never look at the sun without proper protection and to enjoy this rare and beautiful phenomenon!