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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Lunar-ticks for the solar eclipse and a hack

Microsoft Paint, you will be missed </3
Plot twist: as much as lunar eclipses are loved, this post is actually photos from the recent solar eclipse that happened on August 21, 2017. Sorry, Lunar-tick.

Hopefully you had the chance to enjoy it last Monday, though if you were not able to watch it's not too late to experience thorugh the beautiful, non-eye-burning lens of NASA.

Seeing as we didn't have any solar-eclipse-viewing glasses, on Monday we started by making our own viewboxes for the eclipse. The longer the box, the larger the projection of the. I used a cereal box.

Here is a very not-to-scale diagram:

Image made using Fireworks. Sorry Paint, we still love you.
It took me a moment to find the little bright smudge of the sun's image on the wall of the box and orient it so that it was in line, but soon enough lo and behold there was a little dot with a tiny bite out of it. Optics was never my strong suit, but as I peered in through the peekhole and tried to understand how this worked, it finally occurred to me that if we just poked more holes in the aluminum foil, there would be more projections in the box.

In addition to just adding a fun and potentially creative element, it also made it easier to "find" the eclipse, or aim the projected image of the sun when it was in distinct clusters.

Before, simple version (right) >

Below, decorated versions:
What happened when 3, fairly distant holes were poked in the aluminum foil.

It was much easier to aim the projection with a distinct cluster 

It pays to think outside the box ;) (Pun intended)

Updated 2019-04-15

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