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Forget Special Glasses--the Best Views of the Eclipse Just Need a DIY Pinhole
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Forget Special Glasses--the Best Views of the Eclipse Just Need a DIY Pinhole

Beth Skwarecki, Gawker Media

Photo by Steven Harris .

I was in middle school the last time a major solar eclipse passed over my hometown. Some teachers supplied us with glasses and others helped us build viewers from cereal boxes, and we went outside for the big moment. It was okay, I guess. But when I got home, my mother told me how she saw the eclipse.

She told me that she stepped outside with her co-workers, and ended up sitting by a tree. And she noticed the shadow of its leaves on the ground. Everywhere there was a little gap between the leaves, each spot of light was in the same crescent shape as the eclipsed sun. It must have looked something like this:

When the eclipse happens on Monday, you don't even need a tree; you can DIY your own projector by simply poking a hole in a piece of paper. Here's Pizza Hut showing you how to poke a nice clean eclipse-viewing hole in a pizza box:

Or, for a more self-contained system, you can make a viewer out of a box. Save one of your giant Amazon boxes to make a viewer you can stick your head inside , or look a little less ridiculous with this handy viewer made from a cereal box:

This is the kind of viewer I used at school. It was fine, remember? My only regret was not looking around at all the other things that can act as a pinhole. So get creative! You can make some pretty cool shadows with a colander, or do like astrophysicist Katie Mack and doodle some fill-in-the-eclipse cartoons:

And if you're caught outside without any equipment at all, just cross your fingers-literally, with a tiny bit of daylight in between them-and take a look at your shadow. Like the guy in the image up top, you'll be holding an eclipse in the palm of your hand.

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