Make your own tin can pinhole planetarium (page 1 of 5)

April 21, 2014 | By | 2 Comments
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First demonstrated in 1923, a planetarium is a device that projects dots of light onto the inside of a dome to simulate the night sky. This article outlines how to use inexpensive materials to make a simple tin can pinhole planetarium that can be used to project the stars of a single constellation onto a flat surface such as a wall. Alternatively, you can simply look into the tin can and see the constellation pattern.

Making this pinhole planetarium will also help children in the Scouting movement earn their astronomy badge.

Materials required

Safety warning

  • Avoid cutting your fingers on the tin can edges.
  • Use caution when making the star holes with sharp metal instruments such as needles.
  • Do not look through the pinholes at the Sun.
Assembled materials

Assembled materials

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Step 1

Step 1

Step 1: Cover sharp edges of tin with sticky tape.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I am an amateur astronomer (and school teacher) with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities. As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.