On August 21st, a rare solar eclipse will be visible across the country. While almost everyone will be able to spot at least part of the event, select regions of the US will get to watch the moon block out the sun completely in the area — AKA, the total eclipse, otherwise known as the totality.
Space aficionados will need to protect their eyes, however, to catch a safe peep of the event. Looking directly at an eclipse can cause permanent eye damage, or in some cases, blindness. So, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right tools to do so.
Eclipse-safe glasses are the best way to protect your peepers. While they’ve been selling out across the country, the good news is that over 6,000 public libraries all over the US are handing them out for free.
If you’re in a DIY mood, you can easily make a pinhole camera — something you may have done back in elementary school. Pinhole cameras use a technique called “light diffraction” to project an image of the eclipse onto a piece of paper, wall, or, in the case of a light-tight pinhole camera, onto photographic paper. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a really simple guide online to help you get started.
What if you’re with a group and all want to check out the eclipse at the same time? NASA to the rescue again, with instructions for a DIY “sun funnel.” You’ll need a telescope, but building this simple device will save your eyes.
If you’re stuck at work or indoors, Business Insider compiled a list of video streams where you can catch a glimpse of the eclipse in real time on the 21st, and save your eyes in the process. Unfortunately, if you were planning to travel to one of the 12 states that are directly in line with the totality, hotels have been sold out for over a year by intrepid solar eclipse fanatics.
How do you plan on checking out the solar eclipse? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Sean Gallup/Getty)