Solar Studies: Safe Sun Watchers

There are a few excellent “Sun Spotters” tools available for purchase, but they are usually pretty expensive years, people have made “pin hole” cameras by poking a “pin hole” into a piece of card stock or an index card.  This will permit you to turn your back to the sun and see it projected onto the sidewalk or a blank surface.  During an eclipse, you may also see the eclipse event in a similar manner by placing your right and left hands over each other with your fingers creating the small “pin hole” openings, allowing the sun to shine over your shoulder through your fingers onto the ground or a clear surface..  For

Image Credit- NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Using the “pin hole” method is especially difficult in trying to see sun spots though. If you have access to binoculars, there is a way to use them as a solar projector to see sun spots.  It is very important to never look directly at the sun through binoculars, unless they are specifically filtered for viewing the sun!!  Never assume this is okay.


Here is a link to a YouTube video showing how to safely use binoculars as a solar projector shared by





To earn the points toward you badge for this activity, go to the prevent blindness web site for the 2024 solar eclipse and write a brief explanation of why looking at the sun directly, through your cell phone camera or a regular camera is dangerous and provide an alternative an alternative “safe” means of looking at the sun.



Stanford Solar Center:

Please email: