On August 21st, there will be a US Continental Solar Eclipse. The next one for the US will be in 2024 so listen up for the details!

First, the basics.

What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse is when the Sun is blocked by the moon, creating an umbra that covers part of the earth. This time, the USA is being covered.

How to view the Solar Eclipse?
There are special glasses to view the eclipse that are available at astronomy clubs, science centers and NASA (which is where I got mine via Artscape). Can’t get yourself a pair? That’s fine. Here are ways you can still watch the eclipse without frying your eyes (note – you can look at the total eclipse with bare eyes, just not when the sun is present):

Cardboard box viewer
Materials:
– Cereal box
– Small sheet of aluminum foil
– Pin
– Tape

1. Cut out the narrow side of the box about 5”, this is the part you will be looking through.
2. Next to this eye slot, attach a strip of aluminum foil on the narrow edge of the box and tape it down.
3. Poke hole in middle of aluminum foil and there you go. You should be able to test with a flashlight by shining it through the pin hole.
4. When looking at the eclipse, have your back towards the sun so the light can stream in via the pinhole and you can watch what is projected on the other end of the box.

Envelope & mirror
Materials:
– Envelope
– Mirror
– Pencil or pen
– Sheet of paper
– Tape

1. Tape a white sheet of paper to a wall
2. Take a pencil or pen and poke a ragged hole in the middle of the envelope.
3. Put the mirror in the envelope, the reflective part showing in the hole.
4. When looking at the eclipse, face towards the sun and use the envelope/mirror to reflect the sun onto the white sheet of paper to watch the eclipse

Hands
Materials:
– Your hands

1. Act as if you’re doing Jay-Z’s hova hand symbol but make the hole in the center smaller, about the size of a ping pong ball.
2. Face your hands towards the ground until you can see the hole cast in the center of your hands clearly.
3. Have back towards sun during eclipse and use this method to look at the shadow being cast at the ground. As the sun passes through the eclipse, you should see a crescent.

Tree
Materials:
– A tall tree

1. Stand under a tree where the sunlight passes through the leaves, leaving shadows on the ground.
2. Look at the shadows turn crescent and into darkness

A good site to look at for times, places and other viewing methods if you can’t get any glasses is NASA’s Eclipse 2017 site. There is also Time and Date, to see exact Eclipse info, including percentage of totality and time based on where you are in the US.