Can I Watch the Eclipse Through My iPhone?

I tried to play it cool and act like I didn’t care about the eclipse. But now that it’s happening today, I sort of regret not getting a pair of those eclipse sunglasses. Sort of, but not really, because even if they were handed to me by an actual NASA scientist I’d still be wary that they could be fakes and I could wind up blinder than I already am.

So, when the moon rolls around this afternoon, my plan is to do what so many annoying concert-goers have done before me and mediate my own experience through a tiny screen: my iPhone.

If you read enough articles, you’ll find smatterings of advice to make sure you use special solar filters on your camera or put eclipse glasses in front of your camera lens when taking pictures. “Better safe than sorry,” they say.

But according to Snopes, Apple says:

iPhones and iPads are safe to point at the sun because the lens is so wide, meaning that the full force of the light the sun emits is relatively dim, but if you use a telephoto clip-on lens or something else to magnify the sun and its light, a filter is probably a good idea.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m thinking I’ll use my selfie cam and have my back to the sun. That way I can minimize any chances of those infrared rays creeping around my phone and into my precious retinas.

I’ll update you later to let you know if it has any adverse impacts on phone’s camera. You can use that information on April 8, 2024, during the next solar eclipse in the U.S.

Let me know how your eclipse viewing went in the comments below. 



  1. Widdershins

    August 21, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Hm-m … I was wondering about this … will give the ‘selfie viewer’ a try.

    • Steve Krause

      August 21, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Ah… that should make for a cool shot!

  2. Jack Busch

    August 21, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Update: It did not work on my phone. Still too bright!

    • Widdershins

      August 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Updatery: Yeah same here … but I did get some cool lens flare shots. :)

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