The Projection Method
back to spaceweather.com
If you're thinking of viewing the sun, your first concern should always be eye safety. Focused sunlight can cause serious eye damage. Never look into the eyepiece of unfiltered telescopes or binoculars.
safe way to observe sunspots or eclipses is to project an image of the sun through a telescope or binoculars
onto a white screen -- walls and sidewalks
work nicely. If you're using a telescope, be sure that any small
finder telescope is capped. If you're using binoculars, keep
the cover on one of the two tubes. Never look through
a telescope or binoculars to point them at the sun
Tom Hanson of Murray, Utah, suggests this variation on the binocular projection technique: darken the room and add a mirror. "When I look at sunspots I use binoculars, but instead of putting a piece of paper under the binoculars, I put a mirror under it and project the image on a wall," says Tom. "The image of the sun is not as bright, but the diameter of the sun's image is about 6 feet depending on the distance from the mirror to the wall."
He continues: "I also close the blinds in my house except for an opening for the binoculars to pick up light. This way the darkened room allows for much more detail to show. The smaller spots and minor details can also be seen with excellent detail."
Pinhole projectors and certain types of solar filters can also afford a safe view of the sun. Pinhole projectors usually produce a small and unsatisfying image, but they are better than nothing if you don't have a telescope or binoculars.