A rare partial solar eclipse will be visible across south London on Thursday morning (June 10).
The spectacular astronomical event will see the moon pass between our Earth and the sun, partially obscuring it in dramatic fashion and giving it the appearance of a crescent.
The eclipse will take place shortly after 10am on Thursday morning.
London is expected to see 20 per cent obscuration of the sun, meaning it will be dangerous to view with the naked eye as much of the sun will remain visible.
Greenwich Observatory will be live-streaming the event, while eye experts are warning south Londoners to take the necessary precautions and avoid potentially lasting damage to their eyes.
— Royal Observatory Greenwich (@ROGAstronomers) June 9, 2021
Specsavers clinical services director Giles Edmonds urged people to take the necessary precautions to care for their eyes ahead of Thursday’s solar show.
“Looking at the sun directly, without the appropriate protective eyewear can result in a condition known as solar retinopathy which can cause temporary or permanent visual loss,” he said.
“You should never look at the sun before, during or after an eclipse without protective eyewear.
“It is not safe to view a solar eclipse through any conventional sunglasses and the safest way to do so is through a pair of ‘eclipse glasses’ with a certified solar filter,” the optician added.
Edmonds meanwhile urged people to refrain from reaching for their smartphones to snap a shot of the rare event, however tempting.
“You might be tempted to capture the moment on your phone but be aware that you could accidentally look at the sun when trying to line up your perfect shot.
“Likewise, viewing an eclipse through the optical viewfinder of a camera can be just as damaging for the eyes,” he said.