Don't look at the sun during Monday's eclipse, warns Health Ministry

Saturday, August 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health is advising the public to be cautious during the partial solar eclipse that will occur on Monday.

A solar eclipse is an event where the moon passes between the sun and the earth, thereby casting a shadow, which moves across the surface of the earth. A partial solar eclipse happens when the moon comes between the sun and earth, but the moon only partially covers the sun's disk. People are being asked to not look at the sun during the eclipse as this can cause damage to the retina.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston Winston De La Haye said “It is important that persons refrain from looking at the sun during this period as it can cause permanent damage to the eyes.

“The only way to look directly at the sun when it is eclipsed or is partly eclipsed is with a special solar filter, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer.”

The eclipse is expected to begin sometime after midday and the entire process is to last between two to three hours. However, the time the moon partially blocks the sun is to last for just over two minutes.

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