You may have seen a bunch of crescent-shaped shadows Monday, and - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

You may have seen a bunch of crescent-shaped shadows Monday, and here's why

There were plenty of ways to enjoy Monday's eclipse. (Source: WXIX) There were plenty of ways to enjoy Monday's eclipse. (Source: WXIX)
There were plenty of ways to enjoy Monday's eclipse. (Source: WXIX) There were plenty of ways to enjoy Monday's eclipse. (Source: WXIX)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Sitting under the shade of a tree is a time-tested strategy for enjoying a summer afternoon. Those who indulged in the practice Monday may have stumbled onto one of the simpler ways to enjoy this week's eclipse.

Of course, there was plenty of talk about getting the right glasses for the event.

Solar pinholes, however, are and were a safe alternative to staring directly into the sun (which is generally frowned upon). Here's a quick blurb about pinholes from an old NASA blog to help explain what you may have seen:

Solar images formed by pinholes, crossed fingers, patches between leaves, all occur because of diffraction -- a wave property of light. In the case of a pinhole, the light rays do not shoot straight by the rim of the hole, but bend around the edge. This wave effect creates a diffraction pattern of rings on the screen which resembles a bull's eye. That's for a flat wave single light source.

Human hands, leafy trees, wicker baskets and mirrors: these things can serve as safe solar projectors thanks to the curious wave behavior of light.

Here's how it looked Monday afternoon in Fox 19 Now's parking lot (around 2 p.m.):

Have pictures of your own? Submit them through the Fox 19 Now news app or message us on Facebook.

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