Top tips for the solar eclipse!

Tuesday, 11 Apr 2023

On 20 April 2023, the shadow of the moon will pass over parts of Western Australia in a 40-kilometre-wide track, as it travels over one of the most beautiful parts of the world – the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo region near Exmouth. We are sure there will be a lucky few from within the Helena College community who will get to see it first hand - and we look forward to hearing all about it on their return to school in Term 2.

For those of us who are 'staycationing' in the beautiful Perths Hills, we will still be able to enjoy watching a partial eclipse. This is an exciting opportunity for families to enjoy a rare event that is both beautiful and educational! We've put together some tips for how you can safely watch the partial eclipse from your home.

Key Information

The following is based on entering our Glen Forrest Campus address in the handy eclipse map on the Ningaloo Eclipse website:

  • Date: Thursday 20 April 2023
  • Duration: 2 hrs, 46min 
  • Partial begins:10:00:21 am
  • Maximum:11:20:53 am
  • Partial ends:12:46:56 am

The process of the moon moving across the face of the sun takes three hours, but the brief moment when the sun is  obscured by the moon will only last a total of 62 seconds!

Safety tips

  • It is never safe to look directly at the sun or a reflection of the sun – even if the sun is partially covered. Children are especially at risk. 
  • A safe way to view an eclipse is via an indirect method such as a pin-hole viewer. 
  • Normal sunglasses are NOT suitable, and many commercially available 'eclipse glasses' may not meet the required safety standards to protect the eye, and are not recommended by the Department of Health. Dark sunglasses, exposed x-ray film and welding shields with a lens category of less than 14 will not provide suitable eye protection.
  • The safest techniques for viewing a solar eclipse are indirect viewing methods. For example, you can view live streams on TV or online, or you can easily project an image of the sun onto a screen using a pin hole viewer.  These are easy to make at home.
  • This video, from the Lions Eye Institute explains more about eye safety.

Pin-hole Projections

This information is courtesy of the ARPANSA website. While facing away from the sun, use a piece of card with a small (~1 mm diameter) hole in the centre to cast a shadow onto a white card or screen ~1 m further away.  An inverted image of the eclipse can be viewed on the screen.  Remember, do not view the eclipse directly, keep facing away from the sun and only observe the eclipse as the image on the card or screen.  

Or try this handy DIY project to make a pin hole projector box at home.

Other Activities

Please share your family's eclipse experiences with us. Email your photos of your eclipse 'party' or pinhole projector to We'd love to share them on social media or in our next newsletter!