With the impending “Great American Eclipse” comes the not-so-great American question -- Can I take a selfie with it?
The answer is yes, but it may not be worth it.
Your first priority should be your safety. You can look at your screen, but you should still protect your eyes with specialty solar eclipse glasses. As reported by The Telegraph, the biggest risk of eye damage comes from inadvertently looking at the sun while lining up your shot.
Then there’s the question more critical than, “Do I go with a ‘fish gape’ or a ‘duck face’ pout?”
Will my phone be ok?
NASA advises to use a solar filter over any camera to keep sensors safe. But if you think they faked the moon landing, perhaps you’ll trust Apple instead. The company told USA Today that pointing an iphone at the sun, even during an eclipse, won’t do any damage.
If you do attempt a selfie with the eclipse, it is recommended you trust in a wide-angle view, and avoid using the digital zoom . Still, your chances are slim. As reported by The Washington Post, smartphone cameras have come a long way, but most Astrophotographers will tell you that it’s silly to attempt it with anything less than $1000 worth of equipment.
If you do get that perfect solar selfie, you may not be able to share it with the world. This will be the most documented total solar eclipse in history, and according to techradar.com, cell phone networks anticipate trouble handling all the traffic, primarily in the “path of totality”, or darkest path. Some companies have sent mobile units to boost bandwidth in the rural towns where eclipse hunters will descend, but it still may not be enough.
But here’s a novel idea, look up at the sky instead of at your phone. The world may not know you’re there, but you will.
Enjoy it. Watch the video to see if a solar selfie is worth it.