It’s nearly #SolarEclipse2017 time, and in your haste, you may have missed the opportunity to go out and get yourself a pair of glasses in order to safely view the rare phenomenon as it hits the US. But, according to NASA, you can use your iPhone or other smart phones to safely snap pics of the solar event without damaging your phone.

Because of the iPhone’s (and other smartphones’) magnification abilities, you shouldn’t need a solar lens to safely snap the partial (or total, depending on where you live) eclipse. While you probably shouldn’t try to get a full shot of the totality, you can get a great snap of it in a wide shot, maybe of your friends or family in the foreground, or a landscape shot with the sun and moon in the background.

NASA also recommends manually adjusting your focus, as autofocus won’t be able to get the same clarity in the snap. They also suggest using a timer in order for your smartphone to be as still as possible before taking the pic. NASA notes that without a lens attachment, however, the solar eclipse will probably look fairly pixelated on your phone, so don’t expect perfection.

If you have a DSLR or other digital camera, you can snap some pics of the solar eclipse, but you will definitely need a solar filter to protect your camera from damage. Business Insider notes that if you have a local camera shop, you can pop in and grab some filters, but barring that, a piece of No. 14 welder’s glass over the lens of your camera should keep it safe.

You’ll only have a few short minutes to get your pic, so before the event, make sure you’re set up. Ideally, a zoom lens that is at least 300mm but at most 1000mm will work the best (and the bigger the better, obvs). Remember to keep your flash off and keep your camera at a low ISO (your camera’s light sensitivity sensor).

While the eclipse is a rare cosmic event, don’t fret if you don’t get your own snaps, or if they don’t turn out perfectly — there will be plenty of opportunities to check out video and photos online during and after the event.

Are you in the direct line of the solar eclipse? Tell us where @BritandCo!

(Photo via Reuters)