Eye doctors blindness warning

Eye doctors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) are warning the public not to attempt to directly view Venus passing in front of the Sun tomorrow as it will cause permanent damage to the eyes.

For the first time in 122 years, Venus will pass in front of the Sun for six hours. Venus will appear as a tiny black disc against our star but no one should look for it without the proper equipment.

Looking directly at the Sun with the naked eye, or worse still through an open telescope or binoculars, can result in permanent blindness.  The Sun should never be viewed with the naked eye, a telescope or a camera.
NNUH consultant ophthalmologist Mr Andrew Glenn said: “Venus transiting the Sun is a very rare event and some people may be tempted to try and see it through a camera or telescope but to do so would lead to permanent eye damage. The Sun should only be looked at indirectly and we would urge people to take care.”

The Venus transit takes place tomorrow from 06:20 to 12:24. If people do want to try and see it safely, it can be done by using a pinhole projector, or a solar projection kit, or the easiest way is to view it is on websites or television broadcasts.

Monday 7th of June 2004 12:00:56 PM