A total solar eclipse will cross the United States from coast to coast on Monday as millions of Americans gaze upward to catch a glimpse of the historic, rare phenomenon. And many of those viewers will want to know how to watch the solar eclipse without special glasses.
Experts warn that viewers should use caution when viewing the eclipse, since staring directly at the sun can cause severe eye damage. The American Astrological Society recommends viewers wear eclipse glasses to protect their eyes from the sun.
Those looking at the eclipse within the path of totality — where the moon will completely block the sun along a path spanning from Oregon to South Carolina — can view the eclipse without protection during the two minutes or so that the sun is completely out of view.
However, glasses or another form of protection must be used while watching the partial eclipse, in which the sun is not fully blocked, which will be visible in all of North America.
But if you weren’t able to get eclipse glasses, after some retailers across the country sold out and others have recalled them after discovering they were faulty, don’t fret. There are still safe ways to view the eclipse without special glasses:
Make your own eclipse viewer
NASA Solar Eclipse Educator Charles Fulco visited TIME for Kids earlier this month to explain how to create a solar viewer with a few household materials.
To create a solar viewer, you’ll need a shipping tube, tinfoil, a hobby knife, an awl, tape and a marker. Using the hobby knife, you need to make a small hole at the end of the tube then tape a piece of foil over the hole you created. Using the awl, punch a smaller hole into that foil.
Then, cut a large rectangle at the other end of the tube, which will serve as a viewing window.
During the eclipse, put the tube over your shoulder and have the small hole pointed to the sun. If you look inside the tube at the large rectangle, “you should see a bright, white image of the sun suddenly appear at the very end of the tube,” Fulco said.
Viewing a projection of the eclipse — which this contraption will help you do — is recommended by NASA. “The safest and most inexpensive method of viewing an eclipse is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening,” NASA says, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
To learn more, watch the video of Fulco creating the contraption here.
Watch the eclipse live online
The broadcast will feature commentary from Amy Shira Teital, a spaceflight historian, and former NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins. TIME’s editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger, author of Apollo 8, will also report from the ground in Casper, Wyo., which falls under the path of totality, where the moon will entirely cover the sun.
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