The Once in a Lifetime Solar Eclipse and My Handmade Cereal Box Viewer…
OK, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard all about the big-deal solar eclipse that is supposed to be a totality and the first one that has actually been in occurrence in a couple of centuries, so naturally this is a big deal. Heck, I heard that President Trump and his family was planning on watching it, too!
Naturally we want to go check this out and stake out a seat. But then there’s the problem of the viewing part and I found out just through some articles that, yep, you cannot safely enjoy this once in a lifetime event just wearing sunglasses.
Some people were able to get their hands on a special type of viewing spectacles that have a certain labeling….
But some of us didn’t know this and apparently not near any locality to obtain these, I found out that you can create a viewer made out of a (yep, that’s right believe it or not) a cereal box. I can’t take the credit for this one as it was something I discovered:
I watched a video and took notes, (drew a diagram is more like it – that’s kind of how I learn; I will scribble out a blueprint and add some footnotes here and there that are pertinent)
1. First you have to cut the outer left and right ends off of the cereal box (you could certainly use a shoebox if cereal isn’t a “thing” in your household) and the surrounding underflap.
2. Setting the box upright, take a piece of plain white paper and trace around the perimeter of the box end; cut this part out. Place this piece of paper inside the box and push it to the bottom end.
3. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to go on the other end of the top of the box that is showing the removed end piece. Tape it down. With a certain sharp instrument (I used a very small Phillips head screwdriver) poke a tiny hole into this side.
4. On the big day what you are supposed to do is look through the viewfinder by turning the box sideways and looking through the open end.
I don’t think I got the hang of it when I went outside today. Trouble is the whole event took place over a period of time and unless you were looking at a schedule you might not know what phase is going to be occurring in your area.
I was expecting to see this period of the sky getting dark but we have some weird weather down here in which the sky gets darker as if an impending storm is looming ahead and then it just goes right back to sunny normal again. So it could be some cloud related ambiguity or perhaps I didn’t stake a seat outside early enough.
But either way I got to do something unique, repurposing something I don’t use often- a cereal box.
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And in the event that another one of these eclipses takes place -you too, will be prepared (maybe a little bit better than I was?) Enjoy!