Many of us will probably take pictures of the historic solar eclipse next week, but if the eclipse can damage our eyes, can it fry our phones?
People are debating that online.
We set out to verify whether it's safe to take a photo of the solar eclipse on your smartphone.
We spoke to Pedro Ferrer, a cellphone repairman, and Sten Odenwald, a NASA astronomer.
If the upcoming solar eclipse isn't the perfect opportunity for a picture op, I don't know what is. And what's the best way to get a quick snapshot? Your smartphone.
Experts advise us to wear solar viewing glasses to prevent eye damage, but what about our phones? A lot of us will be taking pictures during the eclipse, but could that fry your phone?
"The answer is no," Pedro Ferrer, owner of TechRX said. "The cameras on these have very tiny holes. The aperture is not gonna allow that much sunlight to get in to cause permanent damage."
Pedro Ferrer owns a cellphone repair store, Tech RX, in Warner Robins. He says your phone won't be damaged if you take pictures of the solar eclipse, but he says it won't be the best quality shot.
NASA Astronomer Sten Odenwald agrees.
"It's going to be this snowball in your field, in your picture, and you'll say, 'This is the eclipse,' but it's not going to look like much," Odenwald said.
But both Ferrer and Odenwald say there are a few tricks to getting a more detailed photo, like putting the solar viewing glasses over the lens of your smartphone camera.
"If you use that filter in front of a camera, place it as close to it as you can to the camera," Ferrer said. "That'll give you a better shot anyway. An unfiltered shot is just going to give you a big blob."
Odenwald says putting your phone on video mode may help get a better shot.
"With video mode, you don't worry too much about shaking because the image is going to go where it's going to go, and that, for some people, might be a better way of photographing it with a smartphone," Odenwald said.
So we verified, no, you will not fry your phone if you take a picture during the eclipse, but both Odenwald and Ferrer urge users to protect your eyes and your phone during the event.