How to Capture Solar Eclipse 2020 Without Damaging Your Eyes or Camera

Representative Image of a solar eclipse.

Representative Image of a solar eclipse.

NASA defines this eclipse as, a phenomenon that happens when the moon is farthest from Earth.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 18, 2020, 2:09 PM IST
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The first annular solar eclipse of the year will take place on June 21.

According to timeanddate.com, the solar eclipse at the first location will be visible at 9:15 am and the last place to witness the Solar Eclipse 2020 will see it around 3:04 pm. In India, the eclipse will be visible from 10.46 AM.

READ: This is How You Can Witness the First Annular Solar Eclipse of the Year

The solar eclipse will remain for six hours. The full eclipse will begin at 10:17 am and will remain visible till 2:02 pm. The maximum eclipse will be at 12:10 pm.

READ: Date, Time and All Important Things That You Need to Know About Solar Eclipse 2020

Due to the visual nature of the eclipse, many might be planning to head up to the terrace and try to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse, even get a photograph or two is possible. But first, here are some tips to protect eyes as well as cameras in the event of looking at or photographing an eclipse.

Firstly, protect your eyes!

Never look at a solar eclipse with the naked eye. You may damage your pupils, and even go completely blind. No, even sunglasses won't work. You will require proper eye protection, which could be in the form of eclipse glasses or a sun filter.

The best way to watch a solar eclipse would be by filtering it. Timeanddate.com has a simple DIY pinhole projector which you can try.

Plan ahead

Where are you planning to watch the solar eclipse from? Your terrace? Your balcony? You need to plan ahead. You need to scout the region and make sure you have a clear line of vision before the actual day.

Can you use phone cameras to capture the eclipse?

You can try, but you probably will not get good results. The reason is this - most of our smartphones, even the super expensive top-notch phones, have small sensors. They usually have compact cameras and a wide angle lens. That's not really compatible for eclipse photography.

Don't be too disappointed, though. NASA has a few guidelines if you are indeed using your phone. For one, you need to practice beforehand. You can do that by photographing the moon. The focal length, shutter speed and aperture need to be adjusted in both situations, and this might prepare you for Sunday. You must also practice focusing manually. Auto focus won't really help.

Don't worry about damaging your phone either. The phones' apertures are way too small for the sun rays to enter your phone. This reduces chances of damage.

What about DSLRs?

DSLRs and professional equipment might be more appropriate while clicking a photo of the eclipse. If you own one, you must ensure you use an eclipse filter for your camera. Otherwise, you risk damaging the lens and the camera body.

You will have to experiment with focus, there are no fixed guidelines for that. However, a big lens is mandatory. The lens should have a minimum focal length of 400mm. You must also possess a tripod. Yes, the solar eclipse lasts only a few minutes. But if you want clear, steady photos, you will need a tripod.

Moreover, it is imperative that you take breaks in between. The sun rays your camera will be focusing on will be immensely powerful. Your camera could get over heated and damaged in the process if you do not give it a break in between.

NASA defines this eclipse as, a phenomenon that happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun.

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