(FOX40.COM) — People in certain parts of the country will be able to see an annular solar eclipse, commonly known as a “ring of fire,” on Saturday.
According to NASA, the path of the eclipse will cross North, Central and South America and will be visible across much of the Western United States.
For those who want to capture photos of the “ring of fire, ” it’s not recommended to use the camera on a smartphone or other cameras, as any photo-taking device will be damaged.
Officials from NASA said a special solar filter should be used to protect the camera on the phone or any other photo-taking device, similar to wearing a pair of eclipse glasses to protect your eyes.
It’s also recommended to wear solar filter eyewear along with a filter on your phone. Viewing the eclipse through a telescope, binoculars or camera lens is not safe without a solar filter.
Why is a solar filter needed?
According to the American Astronomical Society, cameras, along with telescopes and binoculars, need solar filters to protect them from intense sunlight and to ensure that you don’t accidentally look at the sun through an unfiltered instrument.
The filter must be attached in front of the camera lens.
A filter is made to keep the sun’s light and heat from damaging the phone and other devices.
When using the filter, make sure they’re secure on your phone or other devices so that it doesn’t pop off if its bumped or the wind suddenly gusts.
“If the filter is attached to the spot where you place your eye, sunlight contracted by your optics will burn right through it,” the AAS said on its website. “This is also why looking through unfiltered optics while wearing eclipse viewers is extremely dangerous and a recipe for serious eye injury.”
Different types of solar filters
According to the AAS, there are three types of solar filters that are typically encountered, which are:
•Metal on glass (usually the most durable, but expensive)
•Aluminized polyester film
Some of the filters make the sun look white, while others cause a yellow, orange or bluish tint to appear.
“All are effective, so choose the type that best suits your preference and budget,” the AAS said.