We've all been warned to not look directly into the sun during today's solar eclipse, but is it okay to take a picture of it? Yes, but you still need to take a few precautions.

According to NASA and their Total Eclipse 2017 web page, yes it's okay to use your smartphone, but we still need to be careful.They remind us that we need to "...minimize glimpsing at the bright sun with your eyes without the benefit of a proper filter."

NASA recommends that we use the filter of your special viewing glasses, if you're lucky enough to have found a pair. During totality, you do not need the filter, but officially we will not reach totality in the Cedar Valley.

The total eclipse in the Waterloo area will block approximately 92% of the sun, and will take a little over two and a half hours. It begins at 11:45 AM (MON, AUG 21, 2017). the maximum eclipse happens at 1:10 PM, and the event ends at 2:34 PM.

DSLR cameras might be a different story. I found this video report from KVUE-TV that suggests that you should use a special filter, else you might damage some of the sensors inside the camera.

CNET.com offers a few helpful hints on using your smartphone to shoot the total eclipse.

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