Solar Eclipse: Scientist, others advise Nigerians

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ABUJA – Scientists have warned Nigerians to avoid looking directly at the sun in efforts to catch a glimpse the solar eclipse moving across the world on Friday.

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Dr Aniefiok Udofia, a scientist and lecturer at the University of Uyo, gave the advice during a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
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According to him, direct eye contact with the eclipse could cause damage to the eye.

“It might be tempting to try to catch a glimpse, but the light’s intensity can quickly cause a permanent damage to your retinas, even if it is partially blocked out.

“It could ultimately lead to blindness. Using a telescope or a camera could be a worse idea because the lenses focus the light further.

“It is advisable to use the eclipse glasses where available; these are specifically made to block dangerous wavelengths of light from the eyes,’’ Udofia said.

He called on parents to monitor their children and wards and ensure that they enlighten them and protect their eyes.

Vox, a research firm, reported on Yahoo that people across Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Asia and the would see a partial solar eclipse.

According to the report, total eclipses are very rare, whereas the partial eclipses are much more common because they occur throughout the much wider penumbra region.

“Friday’s solar eclipse is like nothing we’ll see for another 19 years.

“The vast majority of people will, however, only be able to see a partial eclipse on Friday.’’

NAN reports that the solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s orbit positions it directly between the Earth and the sun, causing the moon to temporarily block out some of the sun’s light. (NAN)