Strange IndiaStrange India

If you’re lucky enough to be in the narrow band of the country that stretches from Maine to Texas at the appointed hour, you’ll be able to view a total eclipse on April 8, but everyone in the lower 48 will be able to see something cool (unless it happens to be cloudy). The experience can be improved through technology, and I’ve got suggestions on what to buy or download for the big day.

First, it’s important to understand the dangers: You’d think everyone by now would know enough to not look directly at a solar eclipse, but some people just haven’t learned. So, for the record: It is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection. You can’t look at it through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without risking severe eye injury, unless you have a special-purpose solar filter over the optics.

Apps to help you watch the solar eclipse

  • NASA’s eclipse explorer: Your tax dollars funded this interactive eclipse map that lets you enter your zip code and get the exact time the eclipse will begin, how it will progress, and when it will end.

  • Totality 3.0: This eclipse-centric app is provided cost- and ad-free from the American Astronomical Society. It will give you the right time to watch the eclipse in your location, and it will even provide you maps without an internet connection. It’s available for both iPhone and Androids.

  • Solar Eclipse Timer: This app alerts you via voice command when each eclipse phase will start in your location based on your phone’s GPS. It’s available for iPhone and Android.

Gear to help you watch the solar eclipse

  • Polarized glasses: The most inexpensive option are cardboard polarized glasses; they work, but they look dorky and are uncomfortable, so be the coolest person at the eclipse with something like these plastic Bookishbunny Solar Eclipse Viewers. If you want to go higher-end, consider these Halo glasses; and if you want absolutely free polarized paper glasses, visit a Warby Parker store after April 1st, and they’ll give ‘em to you.

Halo Solar Eclipse Glasses

picture of Halo solar eclipse glasses
Shop Now
at Amazon
Amazon Prime

  • Binoculars: You won’t need them to see the eclipse, but if you want to get up close and personal with the moon’s shadow passing over the sun, binoculars are cool. These Meade Instruments EclipseView binoculars have removable solar filters so you can use them as regular binoculars when the eclipse is over.

  • Telescope:. This Celestron telescope has a permanently attached solar filter so you won’t go blind, and it’s on sale for $109.95. On the other end of the price spectrum is the Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Series Air-Spaced Triplet Refractor Telescope. It’s on sale from the manufacturer for $999.

  • Filter for your phone: If you’re going to take a photo of the eclipse with your phone, get a filter for your camera. Not doing so will wreck your gear, and iPhone solar filters are inexpensive. Here’s a five-pack for 20 bucks.

Smartphone Solar Imaging Photo Lens (5 Pack)

person taking a picture with filter over smartphone camera lens
Shop Now
at Amazon
Amazon Prime

  • Tripod: Better photographers than you are going to take pictures of the eclipse, with better gear than you have, so I think you should just enjoy the moment; but if you must take a picture, mount your phone on a tripod so your pic isn’t blurry, and use the timer so the camera is stationary when it goes off.

  • Pinhole projector: If you want to be super old-school cool on eclipse day, make a pinhole projector. The American Astronomical Society has a page dedicated to all the different kinds of pinhole projectors you could make, and there’s plenty of time between now an eclipse day to finish the project. Or you could buy a wooden one.

For more on the eclipse, check out our guide on to how to see the eclipse if you haven’t prepared, and how to view an eclipse safely.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *