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How to safely record the 2024 solar eclipse with your phone

Published Mar 27th, 2024 5:04PM EDT
Solar Eclipse
Image: kabzarchyk / Adobe

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Those watching the 2024 solar eclipse next month will undoubtedly want to capture evidence of their adventure with their smartphone camera. But before you go pointing your phone at the sun all willy-nilly, you’re going to need to make sure you know how to record and take photos of the eclipse safely.

It isn’t ever a good idea to look directly at the sun in any fashion or to try to take photos of it with your phone on a normal day. But, when you’re experiencing an eclipse, the light from the sun is even stronger than normal, which means it could very well fry the inside of your phone’s camera.

As such, you’ll want to take proper precautions to ensure you don’t end up with an expensive paperweight just because you want to capture a neat photo. There are, of course, different types of special equipment designed for viewing eclipses, like the 2024 solar eclipse through your phone’s camera lens.

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

The VisiSolar Eclipse Photo Filter set is a good option for some, but if you want to take a cheaper approach, you can always just cut a pair of ISO-certified eclipse glasses in half and attach the lens to the back of your phone. You can get free solar eclipse glasses from a number of places right now, including Warby Parker and several sites in New York state.

This should provide enough coverage to help protect the sensitive hardware in your camera, allowing you to capture photos and even record the eclipse as it happens.

Of course, if you’re within the path of totality during the 2024 solar eclipse, you’ll have to take off your glasses and the filter during the actual totality event to see it. That’s because the sun will be completely hidden by the moon during that time. Just make sure to put everything back in place before the sun peaks back out again.

The April 8 solar eclipse is the last of its kind that the U.S. is expected to experience until the 2040s, making it an event you won’t want to miss. Make sure you’re prepared and pick up your eclipse glasses and other must-have eclipse gear before the big event.

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.