Eclipse That Led Us to Make a Pinhole Projector
Mr B, my husband was traveling when he informed Little B and I about the then upcoming solar eclipse (that later took place on March 9th). He knew we were going to love it! Isn’t that such a nice feeling when your husband is thousands of miles away from you and still he has his heart with you right here!
Our mother-daughter duo is always looking for new things to do and solar eclipse looked like a perfect week-long project. I always start a science project by searching about it over Youtube. Yeah Youtube, you heard me right. I think that Youtube gives better results than Google when it comes to any science phenomenon. Also kids find it easier to understand through a video instead of text and still pictures.
We started off by seeing many videos of how sun, earth and moon position themselves in space at other times and at the time of eclipse. We saw real videos of eclipses as observed from earth and as observed from space. Solar eclipses, total or partial, are beautiful and the images were enough to pump me and Little B up for the next project – making a pinhole projector.
It is of utmost important that we never ever see sun with naked eyes. If we cannot see solar eclipse with naked eyes, how else can we see it? Through special eclipse glasses or through a pinhole projector! We decided to go with the later.
Pinhole Projector for Observing Sun
What You Would Need
1 Long box (The box I have used is a little more than 1.5 feet in length. However, you should try finding a longer one as the longer the better. Size of the image that the box is going to project is going to be just 1/100th of the length of the box. If you can’t find a long box at all, consider joining two short boxes to make a longer one.)
1 sheet of white paper
Pair of Scissors
X-Acto knife of any other kind of box cutter
A thumb tack
How To Go About It
At one of the ends of the box, draw a small square/rectangle right in the middle. Cut that small square/rectangle using an X-Acto knife.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil just big enough to cover the square/rectangle you’ve cut earlier. You have to cover the foil from the outside of the box. Secure the foil over the square/rectangle using tape around the edges.
Take a thumbtack and poke a tiny hole in the aluminum foil. Make sure that the hole is very small. In case you end up with a big hole, take off that aluminum foil and use another foil.
At the end other from where you’ve taped the aluminum foil, on the inside of the box, place a white sheet right in front of the poked hole. This sheet will act as your screen.
How To Use the Pinhole Projector for Observing Sun
Place the projector so that the hole of the aluminum foil is facing towards the sun. As the light from the sun passes through the hole, it is going to project an image on the white sheet at the opposite end.
If you see a nice clear circle, that’s your sun and that means that your projector is working fine.
We made the pinhole projector for observing a partial solar eclipse that was supposed to be in Bangalore right after sunrise. We were up and ready with our projector but unfortunately, it was a foggy day. The fog cover was so thick, we weren’t even able to make out a sunrise.
It was a little sad, but that’s ok. We still have our pinhole projector for observing sun and play around with!
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