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Homemade ways to safely watch the solar eclipse

Solar Eclipse

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY (WPBN/WGTU) -- By now you have probably seen the protective glasses that can be used to watch next week's solar eclipse.

The problem is that they are getting harder and harder to find.

"If you have those you can view the sun during the partial phases of the clips safely with those glasses for up to three minutes at a time," said Northwestern Michigan College Astronomy Professor Dr. Jerry Dobek.

Dr. Dobek said if you can't find the glasses there are homemade ways to watch the eclipse such as with the projection technique.

Basically what you do is either use a piece of card board or paper and poke a hole through it. When you hold that up towards the sun it will create a projection of the sun on a flat surface. When the eclipse starts you will be able to see the moon move across the projection.

Dr. Dobek said its important to use the projection technique if you don't have special glasses because of the harmful rays from the sun.

"What happens with dim sunlight is our eyes react to the dim light so the pupil opening increases allowing more of the ultraviolet rays to enter our eyes and cause damage to the retina and to macula in the back portion of our eye causing irreparable damage," said Dr. Dobek.

Shilo Smith from Idaho said people back in her hometown are just as excited to see the eclipse.

"There are a lot of people who are actually renting out their backyard because you can get like $500 to rent out your backyard," said Smith.

As for Dr. Dobek, he will be travelling to Nebraska with several other astronomers to do research during the eclipse.

"We are capturing some information on the inner corona of the sun which we can only captured during a total solar eclipse," said Dr. Dobek.

The full eclipse will only last for about two minutes and 40 seconds on Monday, but Dr. Dobek said if you miss it you will have another chance in seven years.

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