After the #Eclipse2017: What I Saw and How I Did It

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Watching the partial eclipse in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

To watch the solar eclipse that took place in North America on August 21, 2017, I made my own pinhole projector.

Edmonton saw a partial eclipse with 74% maximum coverage.

  • Eclipse began at 10:24 a.m. MDT
  • Mideclipse was at 11:35 a.m. MDT
  • Eclipse ended at 12:49 p.m. MDT

I made my pinhole projector by cutting up a cereal box, then glued white paper to the viewing panel and poked a hole in the top panel.

Here are images and instructions for a simple card projector on Time and Date.

As an experiment, I tried two hole sizes: one made with a sewing needle and one made with a small picture hook nail. For future reference, the larger hole made with the nail worked much better.

My car windshield was the perfect angle for the bottom panel, onto which the image of the eclipsed sun was projected. The top panel (Cheerios label) was held about 2 1/2 feet above the bottom panel, allowing the sun’s light to project through the pinhole. A bigger distance between the panels created a larger image.

My homemade pinhole projector.

What worked best

  • A hole made by a picture hook nail made a larger, easier-to-view image than a pin or needle.
  • Holding the top cardboard sheet farther back (2 to 2.5 feet) enlarged the image.
  • Not having to hold both panels allowed me freedom of movement with the top panel as well as a free hand with which to take photographs of the pinhole image created.


The day began with a perfectly clear sky. The few white clouds we had that morning held off until after 11:35 a.m., which was mideclipse in Edmonton. They cleared up again near the end of the eclipse, allowing for a final photo of the event. Shortly after the eclipse ended, the sky became cloudy!

Clouds on August 21, 2017.

Eclipse started at 10:24 a.m. in Edmonton

Solar eclipse begins. 10:37 a.m. MDT, Edmonton.

11:01 a.m.

11:10 a.m.

Mideclipse at 11:25 a.m. in Edmonton (maximum 74% coverage)

11:20 a.m.

Close to 74% at 11:28 a.m.

Eclipse ended at 12:49 p.m. in Edmonton

Nearing the end at 12:26 p.m.

Pinhole projector eclipse photos are my own, taken on a Huawei Nova Plus smartphone. Colour and clarity were adjusted using Windows 10 Photos.

Total solar eclipse

My son and my brother drove to the US and saw totality first hand near Rexburg, Idaho. Below is my son’s picture from Instagram:

What totality looks and feels like

Be sure to watch this incredible 37-second video as totality hits Oregon. “You can see stars in the sky!”

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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3 Responses to After the #Eclipse2017: What I Saw and How I Did It

  1. Pingback: #Eclipse2017: What You Need to Know. Where Will YOU Be? | Beyond the Precipice

  2. Pingback: No Eclipse Glasses? Two Ways to Make a Pinhole Projector | Beyond the Precipice

  3. Pingback: Rare Lunar Trifecta of 2018 #SuperBlueBloodMoon | Beyond the Precipice

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