DIY solar eclipse viewing equipment

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - NASA Solar System Ambassador, Brenda Culbertson, says you don't need solar eclipse glasses to get the total experience.

"I like to use cheap and easy things so if you have it at home, use it,” Culbertson said.

For the youngest eclipse viewers, Culbertson suggests straining the sunshine with a colander.

"If you take it and shine it or hold it where the sun goes into the bowl, it projects onto the table too and those will be eclipses,” Culbertson said.

For older viewers, there are several methods of pinhole projection.

"I use a tube,” said Culbertson. “You can use a mailing tube or a tube from paper towels. Any tube as long as it's opaque."

Start by covering one end of the tube with aluminum foil. Then, punch a small hole in the middle of the foil, aim it at the sun and watch the eclipse through its shadow.

For another pinhole projector you'll need a cereal box. Secure a piece of white paper on the bottom of the box and tape it shut. Then cut 1 inch squares on each top corner.

Leave one corner open and cover the other side with foil. Finally, punch another small hole.

"That will project the sun onto the back of the box on that white strip of paper and that's just for you,” Culbertson said.

Culbertson says done right, these can provide a safe experience.

"Experiment with it, we have a couple days left to practice,” Culbertson said.