Make A Solar Viewer For Today’s Historic Transit Of Venus

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(Photo by JEAN AYISSI/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by JEAN AYISSI/AFP/Getty Images)

Today’s rare and historic transit of Venus makes for a great educational opportunity with your kids. However, you shouldn’t stare directly at the sun. Protect your eyes, but still see the spectacle by making a solar viewer out of things already around your house!

Making a solar viewer is super easy an fun! What you’ll need is a shoe box, scissors, a ruler, a sewing needle, aluminum foil, a white sheet of paper, and tape.

Step 1: Cut a 1 inch hole in the shoe box near the edge of one end.

Step 2: Cover the hole with a piece of aluminum foil.

Step 3: With the sewing needle, poke a hole in the middle of the foil.

Step 4: At the opposite end of the box from the foil, tape the white blank paper to the inside of the box. This is where the image of the sun will appear for your viewing.

Step 5: On the lid of your shoe box, cut another 1 inch hole near one end. Place this hole near the end of the box with the white paper. This is the hole you’ll look through to see the image of the sun on the paper inside. You’ll want it to be high enough to look the image of the sun on the paper from an angle.

When it’s time to look at the sun for the transit of Venus, you’ll want to line up the pinhole with the paper inside so you can see the sun on the paper. It will look like a round disc, and if all goes to plan and the weather holds up, you’ll see the tiny dot of Venus slowly start crossing the sun. When you’re done, keep it around for the next solar eclipse!


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