Of course, it goes without saying that you should never look directly at the sun. But if you don’t have any solar eclipse viewing glasses you can still view the eclipse indirectly by using this great method.
Every family in America will need a safe viewing technique for the partial phases of the eclipse, even if they are in the path of totality. Here’s a free, satisfying way to view the eclipse using household materials.
It’s the spot mirror technique:
1. Cover any household hand mirror with paper.
2. Cut out a dime-sized hole in the paper to make a “spot mirror.” Just for fun, make it a triangular hole, so that everyone will be convinced that the image is really the round sun.
3. Stick the mirror into a lump of clay or a bucket of sand so you can hold it steady, yet adjust it smoothly to any position.
4. Bounce an image of the sun onto a light-colored wall or poster board in a shady area about 30-50 feet away.
Walk over to that wall and you’ll see a beautiful image of the sun. Not a small dot of the sun inside a box, but a glorious, easy to see image. Wait a few minutes and you’ll see the image drift across your wall – showing rotation of the earth. On a day with large sunspots you’ll even be able to see them, and can draw a picture of the sun’s face. Use pages of a flip chart and draw the partial phases every 10 minutes on Eclipse Day.
Here’s a PDF image gallery that will show you the phases in how to do this as well as some examples on the results you may get.