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Can I watch a solar eclipse through a cellphone?

Community Manager
Community Manager



On April 8, 2024, at around 3 p.m., we’ll have the chance to observe a total solar eclipse. This rare phenomenon will not reoccur in Québec until the year 2106! Knowing that you shouldn’t look directly at an eclipse without protection, some may want to use their mobile device as an intermediate screen. Is this a good idea? 


The answer: It’s not recommended 

Watching the solar eclipse on the screen of your mobile phone is not recommended, as this could damage the camera sensor. Also, because you would have to hold the phone in front of the sun, your eyes would be exposed to too much radiation.  


You can, however, use your mobile device only during the totality phase of the eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun. This phase lasts from a few seconds to three minutes, provided you’re in a place where you can observe the total eclipse. To find out if the eclipse will be total in your area and how long the totality will last, check out the map prepared by Éclipse Québec. When in doubt, don’t use your mobile phone, or protect it using one of the methods below. 


How can I film or photograph the eclipse with a cellphone? 

If you want to capture this special moment during the partial eclipse phase, you’ll need a filter. Here are two options: 


  • Use ISO 12312-2 certified eclipse glasses, which you attach securely to the phone to cover the camera lens. Find out where to buy eclipse glasses. 
  • Make your own sensor filter from a sheet of Mylar. Look for them at specialized photo or astronomy shops. 


Another option: Live in the moment 

Many professionals will capture magnificent images of the solar eclipse using their specialized equipment. Why not leave it to them? Take the opportunity to observe the spectacular phenomenon with your own eyes, following the Canadian Space Agency’s safety guidelines. We wish you beautiful, clear skies for the magical moment!