Is it safe to see the eclipse through your phone’s selfie mode?

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CHICAGO -- As thousands nationwide prepare themselves for Monday's total eclipse, some viewers still have some last-minute questions, including whether or not it's safe to view the solar eclipse through their phone's selfie mode.

WGN's Ana Belaval, went down to the Adler Planetarium's Eclipse Fest to speak with Andrew Johnston, an astronomer at the museum, to find out.

"It certainly won't ruin your eyesight, because you're looking at the phone and that screen never gets bright enough to hurt your eyes. I don't know if it'll ruin the phone, but I'll tell you one thing, it might be a challenge to get an image that you can actually see. So if you got the sun behind you and your phone is looking up, the sun's so bright, it'll washout the whole image," Johnston said.

So, while it won't damage your eyes, seeing the solar eclipse through your phone's selfie mode likely won't be too successful.

"Because you're not looking directly through the lens you won't damage your eyes that way, but you will probably damage the camera on your phone," Dr. Palak Wall, pediatric ophthalmologist at Akron's Children Hospital in Ohio, told WJW.

Johnston and Belaval still encourage everyone with the proper viewing gear to get out and have fun.

"You don't have to be an expert, you don't have to be in a certain place. Just go outside, wherever you are, get your glasses, or just do a projection. Or just look at the sunlight as it goes through the shadows of a tree. Everybody can do it," Johnston said.

The one thing you shouldn't do on Monday is look at the sun with your naked eye.

The only time you can look at the sun with your naked eye is A) if you're in the path of totality, where the sun will be completely covered by the moon, and B) during those two minutes or less when the sun is completely covered.

During those brief and geographically constrained moments, the brightness of the sun is reduced to that of a full moon, which can be viewed safely without anything over your eyes.

Otherwise, any glimpse of the sun's brightness is not only uncomfortable, it's dangerous.

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