Solar Eclipse pinhole viewer for 10 May 2013 Solar Eclipse

December 2, 2012 | By | 4 Comments
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(Posted 2 December 2012) Want to observe the Friday 10 May 2013 Solar Eclipse safely but don’t have access to a specialist solar filter for your telescope or binoculars? I have prepared a solar eclipse pinhole viewer which you can freely download and use to indirectly observe the eclipse.  I have included on the viewer information on start, mid and end times for the eclipse for the following cities: Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Darwin and Townsville. Information about the different types of solar eclipses can be found here on Wikipedia.

You are free to reproduce and distribute this pinhole viewer at no cost for non-commercial purposes but not to modify it in any way without permission from the author. Full licence conditions at

If you haven’t used a pinhole viewer before, it allows you to project an image of the Sun so that you can safely view the eclipse. You look at the projected image of the Sun. You do not look through the pinhole at the Sun.

I have prepared two versions of the viewer. The first (see above image) does not have black lines around the Sun images (which shows you what the eclipse looks like at maximum for a given location). Download the first version by clicking here: 2013_Solar_Eclipse_Pinhole_Viewer

The second version (see above image) of the viewer has a thin black line around the Sun images. A good friend of mine (Tony Surma-Hawes) pointed out that the Sun images (which are a faint yellow) don’t get copied that well by older black and white photocopiers. This version will be of more use to schools who are usually on a tight budget and cannot afford colour photocopies. Download the second version by clicking here: 2013_Solar_Eclipse_Pinhole_Viewer_with_black_lines_around_suns

Australian Curriculum links for school teachers

If you are an Australian teacher in a state or territory using the Australian Curriculum (Science), arranging for your students to indirectly observe this eclipse will provide your students with a real life example of ‘… how the relative positions of the Earth, sun and moon affect phenomena on Earth’ (Year 7 Achievement Strand Australian Curriculum (Science) Earth and space sciences content strand reference ACSSU115).

Want to get a better view of the eclipse?

A better view of the solar eclipse can be obtained through the use of solar viewing glasses, the use of some sort of projection method using either a pair of binoculars or a telescope or looking directly at the Sun using binoculars or a telescope equipped with a solar filter designed for this purpose.


My website sponsor Extravision Australia sells specially made solar viewing glasses for $5 plus postage. A link to their website for the glasses is here. The glasses use a specialist safety film produced by the Baader Planetarium in Germany which is certified for the European Standard for personal eye equipment (EN 1836:2005+A1:2007). They also sell ready to use solar filters plus specialist solar filter material which can be cut to size to fit your telescope or binoculars. Information on all their solar observing products can be found here. For more information and sales contact Extravision Australia on (07) 33939384 or


Extravision Australia also sell a specialist solar telescope (iOptron Solar 60TM computerized telescope system) which I tested during the November 2012 solar eclipse. I will be uploading a review of this highly recommended telescope shortly.

Finally, if you want to watch a Youtube video on safe solar observing, check out my video of how to observe the Transit of Venus which occurred in 2012. In it I demonstrate how to undertake a variety of solar viewing techniques.

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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.