August 21st: My experience with the total solar eclipse


As I’m sure all of you know, there was a total eclipse over the United States today. Lucky me, living in New York, I was able to see it.

It began around 12:44 PM. That was when the moon had just barely touched the tip of the sun. My family and I had not bought glasses, so we tried to find other methods of looking at the eclipse.

My mother and I built obscure cameras out of cereal boxes. We cut out parts of the top of the box, attached aluminum foil, and then poked holes in the foil. If you faced opposite the eclipse with the holes facing the sun, the image would be projected on the bottom of the box!

A projection inside the cereal box

My father also burned pieces of plastic so that burnt parts acted as a filter of sorts. (We were either unconventional, or desperate. You decide.)

As time progressed, we watched as a family from our parking lot/observatory as the moon began to cover more and more of the sun. It was a mystical feeling of sorts. It felt as if the day had fallen ill; the light faded to a dull grey, and without warning a cool breeze suddenly reminded us that the temperature had dropped.

Finally, the eclipse hit its peak at 2:44 PM, producing the first photo above. My first thought when I saw it was “Pacman.” Coincidentally, us observing the eclipse was a great chance for us to meet out apartment neighbors. All in all, a good day and a great experience. Can’t wait for the next total eclipse in 2024!



One response to “August 21st: My experience with the total solar eclipse”

  1. Did you mean “smoked” plastic rather than “burnt” plastic in your description of self-made protected surface for observing the sun? It can be obtained by keeping the surface of plastic over the candle, so the particles of black powdery carbon (soot) smoothly cover it. It is easy to make by yourself, recycling some plastic box which used to pack some sausage in your local grocery store.


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