How to get ready for the 2063 annular solar eclipse

This morning at about 10am, George alerted me to the fact that the annular solar eclipse of our lifetime was going to be upon us presently, at 1.22pm-1.24pm SGT (Singapore Time). The next one is in 2063 and I would either be 79 years old or dead by then (cue the crying from baby Beano when she finds out that Mummies and Daddies don’t live forever), so I decided that I would quickly set up a safe viewing board for Beano (and the adults).

Here’s a diagram of my hacky setup…

A pinhole camera is doable but the output would be very dim and hard for a baby to see. Probably hard for adults to see too. So I decided to get some binoculars and build a simple projector with actual lenses. Benefits of living 5min from Mustafa is that I can waltz up to it at 11am and say to the man at the counter: “hello which is the best sub-$100 binoculars that you recommend???” And then go back with my awesome new binoculars and make a hacky job with some cardboard and tape, and get to a nearby hdb carpark rooftop by 1pm…

My top tip for people trying to build this in 2063 is to dispense with the tripod entirely and just hold it in your hands and lap as follows because ITS HARD TO FOCUS ON THE SUN IF YOU DON’T ACTUALLY LOOK AT IT.

I missed getting the ring moment on camera but I think got a pretty good view (and extremely safe view) of the eclipse anyway. I also pointed my preview camera at it and later when I looked I saw some refraction from the eclipse in my picture.

I don’t think baby was very impressed by it (possibly because she does not yet know what is SUN or MOON or SHADOW, etc) but now I have a great pair of binoculars with which to spend hours looking at the strange things people do on the streets of Jalan Besar / Little India when they think they are not being looked at…