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Frame Your Foil--A Quick Souvenir

Elevate your eclipse experience by projecting a personalized message written in the sun. If you're looking for a last-minute eclipse activity, a group of eclipse watchers can quickly create their respective remembrances on-site. Materials are a cardboard box, aluminum foil, and tape; tools are sharp--a knife or blade, and a pencil.

Cut out the bottom of a box so it is slightly smaller than a cut piece of aluminum foil. Invert the box and secure the foil over the hole. You can either tape the foil sparingly or wrap the left and right edges of longer foil under the box. Rub your hand along the edge of the cut box to define your aluminum foil working surface.

Box with aluminum foil covering missing bottom of box.
Box with hole is frame for holding aluminum foil.

With a sharp pencil, rapidly punch in a word, phrase, design, or other remembrance of the eclipse. How do you sum up your thoughts in few words?

Aluminum foil with punched holes spelling HI MOM.
With pencil, punch holes to make message.

For an eclipse simulation, depict the bumpy foil moon in front of the sun, with the curled paper plate edge representing the background corona. Cut out the center of a plate and tape foil on the back side. If you punch small holes, you may have to hold the plate closer to the projection surface to yield focused images.

Paper plate with foil taped over missing central plate.
Eclipse model doubles as a frame for punching holes.

During all phases of the eclipse, hold your foil so it projects onto a surface that's preferably parallel with the foil. On April 8, record your projected image(s) for posterity. After the eclipse, you might want to frame your foil, for you essentially facilitated the phased sun taking its self-portrait. That's both a memory and a souvenir worth keeping. Or recycling.


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