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Solar eclipse 2024: How to build a dark box to watch the event safely

Solar eclipse 2024: How to build a dark box to watch the event safely

It's important not to look directly – (Illustrative Image Infobay).

Although he Solar eclipse on April 8 It can only be seen in its entirety in some states of the Mexican Republic, and there is great excitement throughout the country to appreciate this astronomical phenomenon.

Regardless of where you'll see the eclipse from, it's important not to look directly at it, as it can put your eye health at risk.

One of the recommendations of many scientific and health organizations is to observe the eclipse using some eye protection equipment Dark cameraIt can be made with homemade materials and its purpose is to see the sun on a white paper to see the solar eclipse.

To safely view the solar eclipse using a dark box, you will need the following items:

The finished box should look like this (eclipse2024.geofisica.unam.mx)
  • The cardboard box is big enough that it can be shoes.
  • A sheet of white paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Pin, needle or tack
  • A cutter or scissors used to cut the cardboard

Following are the steps to create a dark box:

  1. Prepare the box: Close the cardboard box completely, you must close all the holes and place the lids properly.
  2. A hole through which light enters– Make a rectangular hole in one of the short ends of the box. This hole will act as the “lens” of your camera obscura, so it should be approximately 3cm x 3cm square.
  3. Cover the hole with aluminum foil: Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than the hole and secure it with adhesive tape, making sure it is very smooth.
  4. Punch down the aluminum foil: Use a pin or needle to make a small hole in the center of the aluminum foil. This will be the hole through which the light passes, and it should be about a millimeter in diameter.
  5. Projection Slot: Cut a rectangular slot on the other short side of the box that should be against the aluminum. Depending on how big your box is, it should be about the size of a photo or bank card.
  6. Place the white paper: At the opposite end of the hole, glue or place a piece of white paper on the inside of the box. This paper will act as a screen to display the image of the eclipse.
This is how a dark box is used to view an eclipse (ZigzagZacatecas).

To use your dark box to view the eclipse, turn your back to the sun and place the box over your head toward the sun with the aluminum hole. Look at the white paper screen inside the box. You can see a projection of the eclipse on paper.

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If necessary, adjust the distance between the hole and the white paper inside the box to improve the sharpness of the image.

Before Monday, April 8th arrives, you can check if your box is working, even if it's not yet eclipsed. If you notice that the film is distorted, you can replace the aluminum and make sure that it is not wrinkled.

If the box doesn't close properly or the lids loosen when you hold it, you may need to reinforce them. Some have built dark box drills with an additional peephole to view the eclipse inside the box.

Dark Box Variation Credit: (TikTok/@malpadremx)

Do not look directly at the Sun, even during an eclipse, without adequate protection for your eyes. A dark box is a safe and easy way to enjoy this astronomical phenomenon.

Have a sunscreen ISO 12312-2 certificationLikewise, the eclipse on April 8 Solder mask Number 14, Always keep your vision intact for less than 20 seconds.