Health chief issues solar eclipse warning

Health chiefs warn never to look directly at the sun - even in the event of an eclipse
Health chiefs warn never to look directly at the sun - even in the event of an eclipse

A SPECTACULAR solar eclipse is set to grab attentions across the country on Friday – but health chiefs have warned people not to be tempted to look at the sun.

The partial solar eclipse will take place on Friday. In Wigan up to 90 per cent of the sun will be obscured at around 9.45am.

Unfortunately during previous solar eclipses people have suffered severe eye damage so it is very important that people are aware of the dangers of looking at the sun during this event

Dr Paul Turner

Wigan Council’s public health team has advised that people, especially children, must be careful not to be tempted to look directly at the sun during the event.

Helpful advice on how to view the spectacle safely has been provided by The Royal Astronomical Society.

Dr Paul Turner, Wigan Council’s consultant in public health, said: “Unfortunately during previous solar eclipses people have suffered severe eye damage so it is very important that people are aware of the dangers of looking at the sun during this event.”

Here is Dr Turner’s top advice:

You must never look directly at the sun, even very briefly. Doing so can cause permanent damage to your eyes and can lead to blindness.

Looking at the sun during an eclipse is as dangerous as looking at it under normal conditions.

Looking directly at the sun’s disk through any kind of optical aid such as binoculars, a telescope, or even an optical camera viewfinder, is very dangerous and can cause irreversible eye damage within a fraction of a second.

Particular care should be taken with children. Children should not be allowed to look directly at the sun at any time.

Sunglasses do not provide adequate protection for viewing an eclipse.

Weather permitting up to 90 per cent of the sun will be covered by the moon as seen from Wigan. The eclipse takes place between 08:30am to 10:40am in the morning with peak coverage taking place at around 09:35am.