#Asia 3 lazy — but safe — ways to enjoy this year’s solar eclipse in Southeast Asia


No binocular? Too busy to make pinhole camera? e27 compiled safe and convenient methods to view a solar eclipse


This is the Moon. It’s not a solar eclipse but you get the idea.


Tomorrow, Southeast Asian countries will get to witness a great spectacle that will only happen again in the next 33 years: A total solar eclipse.

As reported by The Guardian, the solar eclipse will be visible in varying degrees from Japan to Australia, with totality across Indonesia.

The center of the total eclipse will be in central Sumatra, happening immediately after the sun rises, or around 6.30AM local time. Jakarta will be able to see a 90 per cent eclipse about 15 minutes later, while in neighbouring countries, Bangkok will see it on 7.32AM, Singapore on 8.23AM, Kuala Lumpur on 8.23AM, and Manila on 8.58AM local time.

This year’s event is even more special because it coincides with the moon being at its closest point to the Earth (a ‘perigee’), resulting in ‘supermoon’, a phenomenon that makes the moon appears larger than usual.

As you have heard before, you are NOT allowed to look at the sun directly as the light will literally dig a hole into your retina.

Then how do we enjoy this special moment? The most commonly known way is to by using a pinhole camera, made from an old shoe box that you have lying around at home. You can also use a binocular –NO, NOT TO LOOK DIRECTLY TO THE SUN WITH– by using a white paperboard as a projector to see the image of the sun.

But for those who are too busy to create a pinhole camera, or a bit too tight on cashflow to buy a binocular, e27 had compiled for you the easy –yet safe– ways to enjoy a solar eclipse.

Also Read: e27 geeks out about gravitational waves

Use two pieces of cardboards

Exploratorium is a San Francisco-based public learning laboratory ‘exploring the world through science, art, and human perception’. It provides tools, exhibitions, film screenings, evening art and science events for adults, and a website with over 50,000 pages of content.

Exploratorium resident physicist Paul Doherty, Ph. D, explained how you can use two pieces of white cardboard in lieu of a pinhole camera to view a solar eclipse.

The method basically uses the same principle as a pinhole camera. Take a white cardboard and make a small hole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumbtack, then stand with your back facing the sun. Hold the paper above the shoulder, and allow the sunlight to shine through it. Using the second white cardboard as a projector, you will see an inverted image of the sun on the cardboard.

“Make a triangular pinhole on a piece of a white cardboard. During an eclipse, it will turn into a crescent sun,” he explained in a video available on Exploratorium’s website.

Use your hands

In the same video, Doherty also explained another method by using a piece of white cardboard and your hands.

First you put your hands into this position.

eclipse 1

This is how it is going to look on your cardboard. The small gap created by your fingers will serve as a pinhole where the rays shine through.

Eclipse 2

Also Read: OTR: Stop burying the problems with Li-Fi to save the headline

But if those methods still take too much effort for you, then the next solution will be …

Go to SLOOH.com

In the era of connectivity, there is nothing that you cannot see with a computer screen and a good Internet connection.

SLOOH.com is a community of astronomers with the aim to ‘connects humanity through communal exploration of the universe’. Through a live telescope, it broadcasts the most recent astronomic phenomenon with the eclipse as one of its featured event this week.

The live broadcast will be hosted by astronomers Paul Cox and Bob Berman from various locations in Indonesia. Sign up for a free membership and enjoy the show!

Image Credit: Nousnou Iwasaki on Unsplash.com

The post 3 lazy — but safe — ways to enjoy this year’s solar eclipse in Southeast Asia appeared first on e27.

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