An Eclectic Collection Of Projects For Your Solar Eclipse

Maker News
An Eclectic Collection Of Projects For Your Solar Eclipse

 BACK-TO-BACK SPECTACULARS

America will witness the next two solar eclipses, an annular “ring of fire” October 14, 2023, and a total eclipse April 8, 2024. Get ready at eclipse.aas.org and solarsystem.nasa.gov/eclipses.

PINHOLE VIEWERS — easiest and safest

Basic pinhole box: make the cardboard box viewer from Make: Volume 86!

NASA 3D-printed and laser-cut pinhole viewers: solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/2921

Whole-room camera obscura: instructables.com/Giant-Camera-Obscura-Sun-Observer

SOLAR PROJECTORS — lenses and/or mirrors

Cheap magnifier: richardsont.people.cofc.edu/safe_solar_folder and instructables.com/Solar-Eclipse-Viewer-From-Reading-Glasses-and-Card

Add mirror for bigger projection: instructables.com/Hardware-Store-Solar-Eclipse-Viewer

With camera lens: instructables.com/Sun-Spotter

With binoculars: instructables.com/Sun-Viewer-Observe-the-Sun-safely-with-binoculars

DIRECT VIEWERS — special solar filter materials

With solar filter film: from trusted vendors at eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters

With welding glass: instructables.com/Simple-Affordable-High-Quality-Solar-Eclipse-Viewe

Giant eclipse glasses: Adler Planetarium made super-size specs in Chicago in 2017, and now Perryville, Missouri has made a pair for 2023–24. Scale up a real pair, cut from plywood or metal, paint, and add lots of solar filter film. Dimension drawings at makezine.com/go/giant-glasses.

SONIC “VIEWER” — for the sight impaired

LightSound: solar eclipse sonification tool converts light intensity into audio tones. Hear it and make it at astrolab.fas.harvard.edu/LightSound.html

SOLAR FILTERS — for cameras and scopes

For camera: instructables.com/Cheap-and-effective-filters-solar

Telescope: instructables.com/How-to-make-a-solar-filter-for-a-telescope

Binocs: instructables.com/Binocular-Solar-Filters

Smartphones: Solar Snap lens and app, modify two phones for $13, eclipseglasses.com

PHOTOGRAPHING ECLIPSES — pro tips

SLR/DSLR/mirrorless: space.com/how-to-photograph-a-solar-eclipse

Plus digiscoping: bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/how-to-photograph-a-solar-eclipse 

Try Out These Other Fun Space-Related Projects!

Will you serve on the bridge or lower decks? The fab, the pad, the orbiter, or the hab? Humanity needs dreamers and makers to chart our next chapter in space. Here are 20 fun projects you can make — and one party invite!

 YOU ARE IN MY SYSTEM

Netherlands maker Illusionmanager created this wondrous orrery, a palm-sized solar system, from laser-cut wood, toothpicks, and a tiny stepper motor. With an ESP32 as its brains, the Grand Planet Spinner retrieves NASA data daily and has a nifty web interface — toss in any date and it will move the planets to their respective positions. 

 JOE STICKS THE LANDING!

In June 2019, Joe Barnard reckoned he was just months away from vertically landing his Scout thrust-vectored model rocket like Elon does.

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“I refuse not to stick the landing in 2019,” he told Make: (Volume 69, “Fly Like SpaceX”). Three years later, he achieved it. Congratulations Joe! Thanks for sharing your saga and your designs so others can try too. bps.space

 PRINT A SATURN V

Relive Apollo greatness with a 3D-printed Saturn V rocket model from CAD Class (cadclass.org). Design it yourself in Fusion 360 with their free preview class, or just grab the 3D file and print one. There’s even a version you can launch with our Compressed Air Rocket Launcher

 OVERVIEW EFFECT

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Like your own starship porthole, Matt Gray’s EPIC Satellite Photo Frame streams each day’s images of Earth from NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory to a cute Pimoroni round display. And they’re always on the sunny side because DSCOVR orbits the L1 Lagrange point! Follow Matt’s build and BOM on youtube and get the code on GitHub.

 SPACE PARTY!

Reinvented is our fave new magazine, celebrating women in STEM fields. Their annual Space Gala is November 11, 2023 at Kennedy Space Center with music, maker activities, dinner, and dancing in the Rocket Garden. Guests include amazing maker Xyla Foxlin, astronaut Katya Echazarreta, Blue Origin and NASA engineers. Why not catch Maker Faire Orlando Nov. 4–5 too, and maybe a rocket launch! 

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