You’ve no doubt been hearing about the total solar eclipse for many weeks now. It’s a big deal because it’s theto cross the entire continental United States in 99 years. All this time, you have probably been telling yourself to read up on the subject and order some special solar eclipse glasses so you can experience what might be a once in a lifetime event. If you actually ordered the glasses, have your DSLR camera, 600mm telephoto lens and tripod ready to go, then yay for you. You get a special geek star award for always being prepared. What do the rest of us procrastinators do on Monday so we won’t feel left in the dark (literally)?
1. Get a pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses so you won’t go blind.
No, your regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes from the damage of looking at the sun during the eclipse!
Is it too late to buy a pair of solar eclipse glasses? No, not if you don’t mind paying ticket scalper prices like I’m finding on Amazon.
You are better off looking for some freebie glasses locally in your town. Contact the nearest high school or library and ask if they have any freebies. Just double check that the glasses are ISO certified safe if you do end up scoring a pair. You can check out this excellent and very detailed article on the subject at https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification.
2. No eclipse glasses? No problem. Build a camera obscura pin-hole viewer instead.
Even though I was lucky and was able to get some eclipse glasses at the last minute at a decent price from ThinkGeek, I’m still going to build one of these viewers because I like geeky arts and crafts. It’s also pretty much free if you already have a box, some tape, a piece of white typing paper, foil, and a pin. For easy instructions, check out these articles that show different styles of pin-hole viewers that you can easily create in just a few minutes:
The group viewer requires some extra gear, but I think that’s the one I’m going to try to make.
3. Watch the eclipse without glasses or a pin-hole viewer.
If you don’t want to track down a pair solar eclipse viewing glasses, build your own viewer or even make the effort to go outside, you can still watch the solar eclipse from the comfort of your favorite chair. There will be many sites live streaming the event like the CBS News eclipse coverage through CBSN, CBS News’ 24-hour online streaming platform. Their coverage will begin at 12 p.m. ET on Monday.
4. If you happen to take a nap and sleep through the whole thing, you can still watch it later.
After the total solar eclipse event has ended, you still can tune into your favorite news sites where there will be all sorts of commentary on the event and replays that will show the total eclipse of the sun. This is not the laziest way to watch the total solar eclipse because not everyone will see the eclipse in its totality. Live streaming or watching it later will be the way most people will get to see the full total eclipse.
What will the eclipse look like where you’re located and what is the best time for viewing? You can find out here: https://eclipsemega.movie/simulator
If you have some more good advice on this subject please share it in the comments below.