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  • Writer's pictureKL Forslund

Homemade Solar Eclipse Viewer

I’m told that tomorrow, August 21st 2017, is a once in a lifetime event, a solar eclipse. One of my friends just texted me to see if I knew where he could find one of those viewer things. As luck would have it, back in college, when a previous once in a lifetime solar eclipse was going on, it also aligned with my Computer Science class with Dr. Davis. He brought us all out of class to go see it. And one of my classmates, Dennis, happened to have made his very own sun viewer out of floppy disks.

Brace yourselves, if you’ve been reading my blog you know I am far too lazy to dig up a picture. But this is a special occasion.

Behold, the 3.5” Floppy Disk, which wasn’t all that floppy:

That metal thing at the top, slides open, revealing the inner disk platter. Dennis took about five in a stack, taped them together, and then slid all five open at once and looked through all five platters (during the eclipse, not normal time). Nobody went blind.

Truth be told, it was cool then that he figured out how to do this. All we had was WebCrawler, back then. Now, I read articles that talk about IR light the platter doesn’t block.

So, rather than try this,what works is welding helmets. Those are like $30, and you’ll be set for some other project, like learning arc welding. Better than some hopefully legit cardboard and plastic flimsy thing.

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