Science

Be up on Friday for the eclipse!

But be safe, and don’t take selfies

On Friday morning, I would urge all you lazy students to roll out of bed at around 8.25 in the morning. A tall order for most, but within the next hour or so you will witness a rare celestial event that for many hasn’t been seen in 15 years. The Moon will cross the path of the Sun, blotting out up to 98% of its rays. The whole of the UK will be plunged into near darkness, smack bang in the middle of rush hour.

While most of us would be tempted to reach for our phones and snap a photo or two, maybe a cheeky selfie with a blacked out sun above our shoulder, I urge you all to beware. Scientists are worried that people are at risk of blindness.

We have all winced after looking at the Sun for too long and would be unfortunately foolish to think that an eclipse will protect us from its reach. The Royal College of Opthalmologists, eyesight experts in the UK, have stated “there is no safe method for most of the public to look at an eclipse directly”. Even dark sunglasses, telescopes or cameras will not protect you, and many members of the public are seen with permanent solar burns to the eyes, that cannot be cured.

So directly filming the eclipse on your phone, even from behind you, is out of the question. Clinical advisor of the College, Daniel Hardiman-McCartney says, “This could potentially be very dangerous because people might be tempted to look at the Sun as they try to get the perfect shot or clip. And as the eclipse is a relatively slow process, people might end up accidentally looking at the Sun for minutes.”

If my warnings haven’t frightened you, follow this information for the safest way to view what will be a spectacular event.

no selfies

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