While a total solar is an amazing sight to see, there are a few things you should know about viewing it safely. First and foremost, do not look at the sun without proper eye protection. The two main methods for safely viewing the sun are
- projection and
Projection without a telescope is usually accomplished by using a pinhole in a piece of cardboard. Hold that card up and the sun’s light will come through it and be projected onto another white surface (a second card, typically). With this technique, you do not look in the direction of the sun but rather away from it.
Using a certified safe filter over your eyes allows you to look in the direction of the sun. There are two main types of material these filters are made from: aluminum covered mylar and dark polymer. Number 14 welders glass can also be used.
Here is a source for eclipse shades that I have used: Eclipse Glasses – CE Certified Safe Solar Eclipse Glasses – Viewer and filters (5 Pack)
During totality, and ONLY during totality can you safely look at the sun without filter or projection. In fact, that is the only way to really appreciate the grand spectacle that it is. In any event, please go see the eclipse, but do it safely.