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Solar eclipse starts to grace skies from Europe to Asia, but selfie generation warned of risks to eyes. And a local Hoax.

Solar eclipse starts to grace skies from Europe to Asia, but selfie generation warned of risks to eyes. And a Hoax

People watch as a solar eclipse begins over the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Photo: AP

All eyes are turned towards a total solar eclipse that is sweeping from Europe and parts of Africa and Asia today – but warnings have been issued about taking selfies at the celestial event.

The eclipse will run from 7.41am GMT (3.41pm Hong Kong time), from a point in the Atlantic, to 11.50 GMT (7.50am on Saturday, Hong Kong time), when it will end in east Asia, according to Britain’s Nautical Almanac Office.

A total eclipse, running from 9.13am GMT to 10.18 GMT, will be seen along a narrow 5,800-kilometre curve in the north Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, ending at the North Pole.

It is expected to offer spectacular views, if only in the  far northern Svalbard archipelago and Faroe Islands.

Die-hard eclipse junkies have flown in to the Faroe Islands, a Danish  autonomous territory, and Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago from around the  world to observe the less than three minutes of daytime darkness, a phenomenon  that has fascinated mankind since the beginning of time.

A partial eclipse of varying degrees should also be visible, weather permitting. Other locations – Iceland, Greenland, Europe, North Africa, western and eastern Asia – will have partial eclipses, ranging from 99 per cent in Iceland to just a couple of per cent or less in Iran.

The moon’s shadow will alight on earth’s surface at 7.41pm the eastern central Atlantic, according to Britain’s Nautical Almanac Office.

Schoolchildren show off eclipse bags they bought from a museum in Svalbard, Norway, ahead of the March 20 eclipse. Thousands are gathering here as the only land the total eclipse will be seen from is on Svalbard and the Faoroe Islands off Iceland. Photo: AFP

Even if the sun is in eclipse, its radiation can still burn the retina, with the risk of permanent damage or even blindness for those who watch it without proper protection.

“Taking a selfie could potentially put you at risk, as you may end up accidentally looking directly at the sun while aligning yourself and your phone,” said Daniel Hardiman-McCartney of Britain’s College of Optometrists.

A French association of ophthalmologists and opticians warned eclipse-watchers against using cameras or binoculars to look directly at the sun.

Nor should they use makeshift filters such as sunglasses or colour bottles, the group, AsnaV, said.

“Looking at a solar eclipse with the naked eye is as dangerous as watching the Sun directly and without protection,” AsnaV said.

The French education ministry, which has come under fire for failing to distribute special eclipse glasses to schools, has advised teachers to keep pupils indoors while the event unfolds.

Using a pinhole camera to project the eclipse onto a sheet of paper is a safe way to watch the eclipse, and webcam-coverage is of course safer still, said experts.

“The safest way to view the eclipse is indirectly,” said Hardiman-McCartney.

Even if the sun is in eclipse, its radiation can still burn the retina, eye specialists have warned. Photo: AP

More than 8,000 visitors were expected in the Faroes, and some 1,500 to 2,000 were  expected in Svalbard.

“There are a lot of eclipse chasers from all over the place,” Torstein Christiansen from the Faroese tourist office said.

“The majority are from Europe but there are also countries which are not  usually on our list, like Australia, New Zealand, the [United] States, Africa,”  he said.

Meanwhile, a group of 50 Danes have bought tickets aboard a Boeing 737  chartered by a science magazine to watch the event from the skies above the Faroe Islands.

In the Arctic archipelago, where everything is extreme, visitors must  contend with temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius at this time of  year.

And then there’s the threat of roaming polar bears.

A Czech tourist who was lightly injured in a polar bear attack on Thursday  served as a reminder of the real danger posed by the animals, which have killed  five people since 1971 in Svalbard.

Total eclipses occur when the moon sneaks between Earth and the Sun, and  the three bodies align precisely.

The moon as seen from Earth is just broad enough to cover the solar face,  creating a breath-taking silver halo in an indigo sky pocked by daytime stars.

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 March, 2015, 3:48pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 March, 2015, 5:39pm#SolarEclipse20March2015
__________________________________________

Robert’s view

MM

“Worst Day of The Year. The Solar Eclipse March 20” in Malaysia is BIG HOAX!

If you have been receiving this MALAY MAIL article from your friends or relatives, it’s a HOAX. Please do not circulate.

The word “arTTicle” is wrong spelling.

The Solar eclipse can only be seen in Europe, and some nearby areas.

“Don’t believe everything you read in the internet.”
~ Quote by Abraham Lincoln

‪#‎SolarEclipseHoax‬ ‪#‎WorstDayOfTheYear‬ ‪#‎SolarEclipseMarch20Malaysia‬

Read original artricle in Malay Mail… http://www.themalaymailonline.com/…/total-solar-eclipse-mag…

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