January 3, 2011 12.00 pm This story is over 158 months old

Partial solar eclipse to be visible over Lincoln

Eclipse: A partial solar eclipse will be visible from Lincoln skies, but health warnings urge not to look at it directly.

A partial eclipse of the sun will be visible from Lincoln as the moon will pass between the sun and the earth from 8am to 9.30am on Tuesday, January 4.

The moon will block 75% of the sun just after 8am and will appear as a crescent across the UK skies.

But people could damage their eyesight and even risk blindness if they look directly at the eclipse, the government’s Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies warned.

“Under no circumstances should people look directly at the sun during a partial eclipse,” said Davies.

“The risks of doing so are very real and could lead to irreversible damage to eyesight and even blindness.

“Children are particularly vulnerable as they may be tempted to take a peek. We would urge parents to explain the danger to their children.

“We would not wish to see another case like the young boy who lost his vision back in October 2005 through looking directly at a partial eclipse in his school playground.”

Anita Lightstone, Programme Director UK Vision Strategy, from the Royal National Institute of Blind People, added:

“It is vital that people take the issue of eye safety seriously.

“People who look directly at the sun, even for as little as five seconds, risk permanent eye damage, even blindness.”

The safest way to watch the eclipse is on the television or live webcasts on the internet, experts have advised.

Observing the eclipse directly through a telescope, binoculars or camera is not safe under any circumstances, they say.

In addition, sunglasses, and photographic film are also wholly inadequate and should not be used to view the eclipse.

Only specially designed solar filters (bearing appropriate CE mark) can be used to safely view the eclipse directly.

There won’t be a similar eclipse until January 2028, when the sun will set while 60% eclipsed.