How to record a total solar eclipse safely using your mobile phone


Here's what to know about safely recording a total solar eclipse in the United States with your mobile phone and taking the best photos. Tip: Eclipse glasses are not solar camera lenses.

You won't want to miss next month's solar eclipse because there won't be one like it for another two decades.

This stunning phenomenon marks the first total eclipse in the United States since 2017. The total solar eclipse on April 8 will have a larger diameter than the last, as the moon will be a few thousand miles closer to Earth, according to NASA.

This astronomical event will be partially visible in all 48 contiguous states, and will be the last total solar eclipse to occur until August 23, 2044, according to NASA. Some parts of the country will be able to experience totality as the eclipse enters through Texas and eventually exits in Maine.

Whether you are observing the event partially or completely, you will definitely need something to remember it by. Here's what to know about safely recording the eclipse with your mobile phone and taking the best photos.

How to get it: Warby Parker offers free solar eclipse glasses before 'celestial spectacle'

How to photograph a solar eclipse with your phone

You'll need to have the right solar filter in front of your mobile phone camera to protect your device and your eyesight, according to Carly Stokes, a Utah-based astrophotographer who spoke to USA TODAY on Friday.

The filter must be made specifically to see solar energy, Stokes said. She also emphasizes the necessity of placing a filter larger than the lens itself and keeping it on at all times if you are in a place where the eclipse is only partially visible. She recommends purchasing a small 4-by-4-inch sheet of Thousand Oaks solar filter.

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Do I need a solar eclipse lens during a total eclipse?

If you're observing the sky in a location where the total eclipse is visible, you'll have a moment when you can take off the solar lens completely and take unfiltered photos.

“For the duration of the order, you can remove all the filters,” Stokes told USA TODAY. “If you're looking with sunglasses on and you don't see anything, it's safe to look at them during that time.”

Stocks warned that the total eclipse occurs for only two to four minutes.

Can I watch the solar eclipse in selfie mode?

With the right solar filter, you can capture the sun with your front camera lens during a solar eclipse, but it won't make the best selfie.

The camera will have a hard time focusing on you and the sun, Stock said, but she recommends taking a photo that focuses on both and blending them together using editing software.

Can I use eclipse glasses as sunglasses?

NASA advises against using eclipse glasses or portable projectors with cameras. Instead, they recommend using a special sunscreen and seeking the service of an astronomer or other expert before doing so.

Where can you watch a solar eclipse?

The total solar eclipse will pass over North America, including Mexico and Canada. It will make its debut in the United States as it passes through Texas at around 1:27 PM EST and eventually ends in Maine at around 3:35 PM EST.

The total eclipse is expected to continue Four minutes and 28 seconds,record, along the eclipse path. Many major cities, including Dallas and Cleveland, will be in the direct line of darkness.

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Below are the states where the total eclipse is expected to occur on April 8:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • who
  • Small parts of Michigan and Tennessee

How do you take a great photo of a solar eclipse?

For those trying to capture the best eclipse content, Stocks has some tips. She recommends visiting a flat area where you can see the sunset in 360 degrees and taking a panoramic photo or video of the skyline.

She also recommends taking photos of solar eclipse projections, such as tree leaves, the ground, or people around you. However, she recommends being prepared when the time comes because it will be over quickly. Using a tripod can also prevent the inevitable shaking when the time comes.

“You think, 'Oh, I'll be so prepared,' but it takes a huge rush,” she said. “So you want to have a plan and practice.”

How to make a projector for viewing the eclipse with your own hands

Here's how to safely create an Eclipse Viewer and how best to use it:

  • Get a cardboard box, a sheet of white paper, tape, scissors, and a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Make a hole in the aluminum foil.
  • Tie it to one side of the box.
  • Tape the white paper to the inside of the other side of the box.
  • Stand with the sun behind you.
  • The light will flow through the hole and the crescent sun will fall on the white paper in the box.
  • Look at the box through another hole you cut in the box to see the picture shown.
  • Do not look at the sun through the hole.
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Contributing: Janet Lohrke and Ramon Padilla

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