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How to safely watch the eclipse with a pizza box

by Vidya Rao / / Source: TODAY

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If you’re planning on peeping Monday’s total eclipse and don’t want to hunt down eclipse viewing glasses, Pizza Hut has a tasty solution for you.

The pizza chain just released a video that details how to turn ordinary pizza boxes into pinhole projectors that allow you to safely view the eclipse. You don’t actually need pizza boxes to do this; two pieces of white cardboard — or even paper plates — will do the trick.

But this is a maybe once-in-a-lifetime event, so we think you might as well get some friends together, throw a pizza party, and feel good about recycling the boxes for an awe-inspiring experience with Mother Nature that hasn’t been seen across the U.S since 1979.

Just make sure to turn around, bright eyes (yes, we had to throw that in there).

While using a pinhole projector, your back should be toward the sun. Just put a small hole in one side of the box, and use the other piece of cardboard as a screen to view the special solar action as a projection. It’s not quite as cool as seeing the eclipse head on with certified glasses, but hey, at least you won’t burn a hole in your retinas. And you'll be full of pizza. #Winning.

According to NASA, it’s never safe to look at the sun directly, and “the only time it’s safe to look at a total eclipse with the naked eye is IF you’re in the path of totality [an area of the country where the moon completely obstructs the sun] and ONLY during the minute or two of totality. All other times require certified eclipse glasses. even during a partial eclipse.” NASA actually does recommend pinhole projectors as a suitable alternative.

Total solar eclipse Great American 2017
TODAY

If this is too crafty for you, you can find safe solar viewing glasses through some community centers and libraries. But be wary of any other vendors selling them as they can be fake. And whatever you do, don’t wear regular sunglasses thinking that will do the trick. You will regret it.

Plan your office pizza party with enough time to chow down so you’re ready for the show on Aug. 21 (be on time!).

Here are directions on how to repurpose your pizza box!

1. Cut your pizza box into two large pieces of cardboard

2. In one half, cut a one-inch hole, then tape a piece of foil over the hole. Now make a pinhole in the middle of the foil.

3. Now, take a piece of white paper and tape it to the inside of the second half of your delivery box. Lay flat on the ground with the white paper side up to create a screen.

4. With the Sun behind you, hold the pinhole cardboard above your screen. The little dot that can be viewed is, in fact, an image of the sun. The farther the pinhole is from the screen, the bigger your image will be.

Still looking for a hot spot to catch the solar action? Check out the best restaurant and bars with prime eclipse viewing spots next week.

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