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Monday, 3 January 2011

The Beautiful View Of Solar Eclipse Blocked By Clouds

Clouded over: The chances of clear skies are very unlikely anywhere in Britain when this morning's partial eclipse of the sun takes place
People hoping to catch a glimpse of a solar eclipse this morning are likely to be disappointed because clouds are 'almost certain' to be covering the UK.
The chances of clear skies are very unlikely anywhere in Britain between 8am and 9.30am when the moon is scheduled to pass between the sun and the earth.
MeteoGroup forecaster Daniel Adamson said: 'The most likely place to have clear breaks is going to be north-east Scotland, but nowhere is going to be particularly clear.

There is a small chance in the south-east of England, but it looks almost certain to be cloudy everywhere.'
However, the country's top doctor warned it could cause permanent damage to the eyes of those who look at it directly, if the clouds do break.
People may even risk blindness if they watch the sun as the moon passes between it and the earth.
Dame Sally Davies, the Government's Interim Chief Medical Officer, especially called on parents to make sure their children understand the dangers.
She said: '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 central vision back in October 2005 through looking directly at a partial eclipse in his school playground.'
Medical experts said the safest way to watch the eclipse is on the television or live webcasts on the internet.
Observing the eclipse directly through a telescope, binoculars or camera is not safe under any circumstances.


Last month's winter solstice lunar eclipse could be seen over Horton Park mosque in Bradford - but for most of the UK it was obscured by cloud
 Dame Sally added: 'Under no circumstances should people look directly at the sun during a partial eclipse.
'The risks of doing so are very real and could lead to irreversible damage to eyesight and even blindness.'
Even viewing it through sunglasses or photographic film is also 'wholly inadequate', experts warned.
They said only specially designed solar filters bearing the appropriate CE mark can be used to view the eclipse directly.
Anita Lightstone, programme director of the UK Vision Strategy at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: '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.'


Safety: If the sun does shine through, watching the eclipse through special solar-filter glasses, online or on television is the only way to ensure no eye damage

The advice was backed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the College of Optometrists and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and incorporates advice from the Royal Astronomical Society.
From the UK, the eclipse will already have begun when the sun rises in London at 8.06am, in Manchester at 8.24am and in Glasgow at 8.46am.
The eclipse will end at or shortly after 9.30am for viewers in the UK.
The percentage of the sun obscured in the middle of the eclipse varies considerably across the UK, with the South-East seeing more than two thirds obscured while from the Western Isles as little as a quarter is covered.
London will see almost three quarters obscured at maximum eclipse, with Liverpool and Plymouth just under 70 per cent and Glasgow barely 40 per cent.

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