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3 tools you’ll need to watch April’s total solar eclipse in person

Published Feb 1st, 2024 5:23PM EST
total solar eclipse
Image: kevin / Adobe

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The upcoming April 8 total solar eclipse will be the last total solar eclipse that the U.S. will see until 2045, making it quite an event for skywatchers. However, those planning to view the eclipse in person will want to invest in some must-have eclipse gear. Otherwise, you could end up endangering yourself. Here’s what you need.

Eclipse glasses

The sun is a very bright and dangerous object to look at without taking the proper precautions. As such, viewing it during an eclipse can be terrifyingly damaging to your eyes. Because of this, you should always invest in eclipse glasses, as they are designed to protect your eyes from the powerful and dangerous rays the sun unleashes.

total solar eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse of 2006 March 29, Southern Turkey. Image source: Petr Mašek / Adobe

Make sure to invest in a decent pair of eclipse glasses, not just the cheapest option that you can find on the internet. Make sure to check reviews, as well, to see what others have said about them. This double-pack on Amazon isn’t overly expensive, and it has a lot of good reviews. Make sure whatever pair you buy is certified to meet the ISO 12312-2:2015 standard, as this must-have eclipse gear could end up saving your vision from permanent damage.

If you want to see how badly an eclipse can mess up your eyes, there are plenty of photos that show off just how damaging the sun can be.

Solar filters

If you plan on watching the upcoming total solar eclipse with binoculars, be sure to invest in solar filters that can be attached to your phone and will completely block the sun’s dangerous rays.

Solar filters are considered a must-have piece of eclipse gear because they protect your eyes, as looking at the sun through unprotected lenses will only increase the amount of damage that the sun will do to your eyes. Additionally, you can find some solar filters that will completely cover your phone’s camera lenses.

If you don’t have solar filters, do not try to take photos or view the eclipse through a camera or phone, as it can damage the phone and your eyes. Check out NASA’s solar eclipse safety recommendations to learn more about solar filters before you buy one.

Solar telescope

Finally, the last piece of must-have eclipse gear I’ll recommend is a solar telescope. These telescopes are designed to view the sun and eliminate any potential danger. There are several options out there, but make sure to do your research before investing in one.

Both the Coronado PST Personal Solar Telescope and the Celestron 50mm EclipSmart Solar Telescope are solid options, though they aren’t cheap.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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