Illinois will be treated to a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience on April 8, 2024; a total solar eclipse, and we found a simple thing you can make at home to watch the entire eclipse without any risk to your eyes.

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Is Staring At a Solar Eclipse More Dangerous Than Staring at the Sun?

When it comes to viewing a solar eclipse, rule number one is; NEVER stare directly at it!

Without eye protection the sun's rays can cause MAJOR damage to your eyes, but is staring at a solar eclipse more dangerous for our eyes that staring directly at the sun?

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The short answer is, no.


Looking at the sun's rays directly, in any circumstance, is more power than your retinas are designed to handle and can be incredibly damaging to your eyes. Viewing a solar eclipse is more risky for two major reasons; time spent watching and the "surprise" factor.

Solar Eclipse is Coming, Here's What You'll See Where You Live
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According to an article from;

 during the total eclipse, it is dark out, and your pupil therefore dialates so that it can let in enough light to get a good picture. Then, when the sun reappears and starts flooding the area with really bright light, not only are you staring straight at it, but your eye is in a state where it is wide open, and actively trying to let in as much light as possible.

Beware of Counterfeit Solar Eclipse Glasses Being Sold in Illinois

If you plan on watching this super rare total solar eclipse in Illinois on April 8, special eclipse glasses or viewers are a MUST.


Amazon is full of solar eclipse glasses to buy, but beware, many of them are counterfeit and will NOT provide quality protection for your eyes!

To be safe, any solar eclipse viewer needs to meet  ISO 12312-2 international standards according to NASA, so make sure you read the complete item description before you hit "purchase"!

How to Make a DIY Solar Eclipse Viewing Projector

If you need a safe way to view the eclipse without spending any money, just grab 2 pieces of paper and a pushpin or needle to make your own DIY projector.

Here's a video I made back in 2017 on how to do it, and yes, it really works!

If you want your DIY solar eclipse projector to be even fancier, try this method using a cereal box...

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