How to photograph the eclipse, according to NASA

It’s hard to think of anyone as excited about the upcoming North American total solar eclipse as NASA. From citizen research projects to hosted events within the path of totality, the agency is ready to make the most of next month’s cosmic event—and they want to help you enjoy it, too. Earlier this month, NASA offered a series of tips on how to safely and effectively photograph the eclipse come April 8. Certain precautions are a must, but with a little bit of planning, you should be able to capture some great images of the moon’s journey across the sun, as well as its effects on everything beneath it.

First and foremost is protection. Just as you wouldn’t stare directly at the eclipse with your own eyes, NASA recommends you place specialized filters in front of your camera or smartphone’s lens to avoid damage. The easiest way to do this is simply use an extra pair of eclipse viewing glasses, but there also are a number of products specifically designed for cameras. It’s important to also remember to remove the filter while the moon is completely in front of the sun—that way you’ll be able to snap pictures of the impressive coronal effects.