Learn How to Make a Powerful Parabolic Mirror That Can Burn Wood

This parabolic mirror isn’t quite as strong as the enormous mirrors on the world’s largest telescope but it can still be used for heating, cooking, and casually turning wood black and smokey. Plus, this version is made using the “space blankets” found at many stores and not fancy glass from a Japanese company.

Angela Chen is the morning editor at Gizmodo.


Solar cigarette lighter, circa 1950.