Making a color filter wheel

NOTE: Do not use this filter wheel to look at the sun.
You should never look directly at the sun without protection.
This filter wheel is NOT for viewing the sun.


Materials needed for EACH filter wheel

To begin construction of your color filter wheel cut out a small, wedge shaped, section from one of your paper plates. You want this section to be a little bit less than one third of the paper plate. See the image above.

Once you have cut out your first section, place this paper plate on top of the second plate and trace around the inside of the cutout portion onto the other plate. Now rotate your cut plate about 1/3 of the way around and trace out the section again. Rotate the top plate another 1/3 and trace out the section one more time onto the uncut plate. The uncut plate should now have three, equal sections traced onto it. Make sure there is enough space between each section so the plate will hold together once you cut them out. Cut out each of the sections that you just traced onto the plate.

You should now have two paper plates, one with a single section and another with three cut out sections, as shown. Take the plate with three sections and tape a different color of cellophane onto the back of each opening. Make sure to trim your cellophane so that it does not extend over more than one opening.

Punch a small hole through the center of each plate with your pencil

You should now have two plates that look like the images below.

top and bottom plates


Fasten the two paper plates together using a brass brad. The plate with the cellophane should be on the bottom.

The two plates should be able to rotate easily so that you can look through one color at a time.

We are now ready to use our filter wheel to view the Crab Nebula!

Landscape Discussion Filters Lesson The Crab Nebula