Solar-eclipse viewers urged to not look at the sun directly


POSTED: Sunday, July 19, 2009

According to the Bishop Museum, safe eclipse-viewing techniques include hand-held solar-viewing filters, or “;sun peeps,”; which are available at the Bishop Museum's Shop Pacifica or other places commercially.

They allow a safe amount of visible light to pass through and reflect back ultraviolet and infrared rays.

It's dangerous to look directly into the sun or to use smoked glass, exposed color film or sunglasses to look at the sun.

Indirect projection methods also can be used, such as covering a small mirror with a sheet of paper that has a dime-sized hole cut in the center. Tape the paper to the mirror and bounce the sun's image onto a sheet of white paper 30 to 40 feet away.

“;We've found that a tipped-over garbage can makes a great shady area to project the image into,”; the Bishop Museum said.

Binoculars or telescopes can be used as a projector to shine the sun's image on a wall, and viewers can look at the wall to see the progress of the eclipse. Cut a hole into a piece of cardboard so that it covers one large lens of the binoculars or telescope. Put the binoculars or telescope on a tripod or prop them against something steady. Place a white sheet of paper about two to three feet away in the shade of the cardboard mask.

WITHOUT LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS, point the big end of the binoculars or telescope at the sun and move it around until you see a white light on the paper and then focus the image until it is sharp.