Watch the solar eclipse with a pinhole camera

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- There are several ways to safely watch the August 21st total solar eclipse. When that day rolls around, all eyes will be looking up, trying to get a glimpse of the rare celestial event.

But if you don't do it safely, you could permanently damage your eyes.

There are solar safety glasses that you can buy online. But if you want to avoid spending money, you could make a pinhole camera. A pinhole camera allows light to travel through a very small hole.

"It will protect you from looking directly at the sun. So you're going to look at the light coming through the piece of paper instead of looking directly at the light source," said Traci Kallhoff, the Director of Education at Exploration Place in Wichita.

Kallhoff showed us how to make a very simple pinhole camera using a note card. You simply make a small, round hole in the note card. Hold the card up to the sun. Light will then project onto the surface of your choice. That light is how you watch the eclipse.

NASA has a better, yet more complex, pinhole hole camera using aluminum foil and a cereal box.

"The cardboard box is going to provide a little more coverage for the directed light source to come in, so it will shadow ambient light," said Kallhoff.

But if you have the choice between the solar safe glasses and a pinhole camera, Kallhoff recommends the glasses.

"It's just a much more intense experience to be able to look directly at the sun safely than having the experience happen behind you," said Kallhoff.

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