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Can't find eclipse glasses? Build your own viewer

If you can't get your hands on a last-minute pair of solar eclipse glasses to view Monday's Great American Eclipse or get to one of the public gathering spots across the region, you have options.

Those range from cheap do-it-yourself pinhole viewers that can be made in just a few seconds using paper or simple items you can find around your house to elaborate sun funnels that will take a bit longer - and more materials - to construct.

Watch: NASA livestreams solar eclipse 2017

All will safely capture the image of the solar eclipse without doing permanent damage to your sight.

Where to watch the eclipse in Western New York

Because the Buffalo Niagara region will not be in the zone of totality, about one-quarter of the sun's rays will still make it through at the time of the greatest eclipse here.

In Buffalo, the partial eclipse begins at 1:11 p.m. It will reaches its maximum at 2:34 p.m. and will end at 3:51 p.m.

[PDF: Buffalo's Guide to the 2017 Great American Eclipse]

That means viewing the nearly two-hour long partial eclipse without solar glasses or some other implement is dangerous and can result in severe eye damage.

The most-simple viewing device -- a printable pinhole projector -- is available with instructions on NASA's website.

It recommends using paper or card-stock to create the eclipse viewer and offers cutouts of the United States and all 50 states (including New York) to make the experience more unique and easily photogenic.

After cutting out the outline of the viewer, you need to poke a pinhole in the viewer where instructed.

Then, with your back to the sun, hold the pinhole viewer a few feet above the ground to view a projection of the eclipse on the ground, according to NASA's instructions.

This is the proper way to view the eclipse using a pinhole projector. (NASA)


Here are three more DIY suggestions:

(1.) The Cereal Box pinhole viewer.

You'll need: A cereal box. Tape. Paper. Scissors. Aluminum Foil. A carpenter's nail or screw.

(2.) Binoculars solar-viewing projector.

You'll need: Binoculars. 1/4-20 T-Nut. A tripod. Two pieces of white cardboard. Scissors.

(3.) Solar-projection makeshift eclipse-viewer.

You'll need: 1/2 inch plywood, 3 1/2 inches wide. Cardboard. Glue. Screws. Lenses. Tongue Depressor.

If you have any photos of the solar eclipse, please email photos to Qina Liu at Please include when and where you took the photo(s). Photo may end up on

Planning to catch the total eclipse of the sun? You aren't alone.

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