Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The solar eclipse from a few days ago made me think of a cool souvenir that I have from a 1994 solar eclipse. It's a signed solar eclipse viewer by master astronomer Carl Sagan! I mailed him my viewer with an autograph request and he graciously signed it and mailed it back. It's one of my more unique autographs and one of my favorites in my collection.

Unfortunately, I missed this most recent solar eclipse. Darn clouds!!! Too bad, because I was looking forward to using my official Carl Sagan solar eclipse viewer.  Luckily my brother sent me a photo that he snapped of the event. (I held up my viewer to his photograph and imagined that I was seeing it live.)  

I remember viewing my first solar eclipse back in elementary, probably 1978 or '79. Our 3rd grade teacher lined up the class in the hallway for the sun's disappearing act. One kid at a time, she slapped a heavy welder's mask on each student and whisked 'em outside for a peak. It happened so fast, but I still have the memory of seeing a green tinted crescent sun.

Hopefully I'll catch the next one in 2017 and if I do, I'll be sure to have my official Carl Sagan solar eclipse viewer in hand! 


Stephen said...

That's very cool, Todd. Thanks for sharing it.

Jason said...

I too remember the late 70's eclipse, from Nebraska. Funky stuff. Awesome piece of Sagan nostalgia.

Kirk G said...

You can safely view a solar eclipse or the Transit of Venus with the use of one of two other devices. First, you can look through any combination of welder's glass that totals at least 14. A 6 & 8, 5 & 9, 5+5+5,etc. SMOKED GLASS IS NOT ENOUGH...nor is any form of film negative..NOT SAFE.

It IS Safe to use a pinhole projector, and you can goole the term to find sketches of how to construct one. It can be as easy as poking a small round hole in the middle of a paper plate and allowing the sun beam to shine through and onto a second plate a foot or two below the first.

Good luck!