How to view the eclipse?
It’s usually not a great thing to be “In the crosshairs” but we will have one exception upcoming in August. In our little sliver of the world, we will be directly in the path of a total eclipse of the sun, an amazing event that MUST be experienced. It’s important to have the correct equipment to photograph and view the eclipse to avoid damage to your eyes and optical equipment.
We have discussed photographing the eclipse using specialty solar filters (in stock at your local Creve Coeur Camera!), but while the camera isn’t capturing the rare view of the corona around the sun, your family and friends can enjoy the view, via a projection.
1) DIY Projection view
Take a shoe box and cut a hole at one end and place a small sheet of foil to cover that hole. On the other end place a sheet of white paper. Now poke a very small hole in the foil. Point the foil end of the box toward the sun. You should see a projected image on the other end. This is a fantastic family friendly activity all can take part in. It’s the safest and easiest method to enjoy this rare occurrence.
2) Proper Projection through a telescope
First, cut a piece of cardboard to go around the scope. It should be much larger than the barrel of the scope. Then remove the eye piece. Make sure the finder scope is covered up. To aim the scope at the eclipse, move the scope till the shadow on the ground is just a circle, and then your scope is properly aligned. Hold or mount a piece of white paper away from the scope and you should see the image. Do not look through the scope to align. Even a glimpse, can affect your eyesight as this highly magnified view can cause real damage.
3) Directly through a Telescope or Binocular
While viewing direct with a telescope or Binocular you need to attach a specially designed solar filter (in stock at your local CCC!) to the front of the scope. Due to heat buildup, make sure to cover the finderscope and align it by the shadow method mentioned earlier. When using a binocular, cover one side with cap mount solar filter to the uncovered side and mount to a tripod. For proper alignment, again use the same as a telescope.
Please Be Cautious while viewing the Eclipse! Make sure to use these precautions.
- Make sure finderscope is covered.
- Never look thru unfiltered telescope/binocular or camera.
- Do not leave scope unattended. Kids and telescopes are like magnets and steel. It only takes a moment to incur serious eye damage.
- Never use solar filters on telescope eyepieces! The heat generated from the intense light barrel towards the filter can distort and shatter the filter and or the eyepiece.
- Do not try to make your own filter (two sunglasses Mylar film, layers of film)
-Jay McCormick, St. Charles Creve Coeur Camera
Stay tuned for details about our photo field trip to view the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!