An educationist, Mr Olajide Olunoiki, on Wednesday warned Lagos residents to avoid watching the annular eclipse of the sun with naked eyes on Thursday.
Olunoiki, a Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Education, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that sighting the eclipse was injurious to naked eyes.
He said that solar eclipse glasses should be worn to observe the image.
Solar eclipses occur when the moon comes between the earth and the sun, lining up with the sun as seen by spectators on Earth.
In a total solar eclipse, the moon lines up perfectly with the sun and blocks out all light. But in an annular eclipse, the moon does not completely cover the sun.
He said that parents must ensure children are kept indoors from sighting the eclipse with naked eyes.
“Eclipse is injurious to naked eyes, we strongly advice that parents should keep their children and wards from observing the eclipse without solar eye filters.
“This is because children are very curious and it is advisable to get them the eye filters before the eclipse or keep them away during the eclipse time.
“There is no cure to injured eyes and it is sinister,’’ he said.
“If you don’t want to go out, stay indoors tomorrow.
“The working class should also avoid looking at the eclipse without the solar glasses for those who can afford it,’’ he said.
Olunoiki said the level of obscurity in Lagos will be 65.8 per cent with Abuja and Brass having the highest obscurity at 76 per cent.
“Akwa Ibom will experience 74.5 per cent obscurity; it varies from state to state.
“Obscurity is the level of darkness that will occur during the eclipse and we appeal that children should be guided.
“I don’t advice putting water in a bowl to observe the eclipse.
“According to data, it will be close to three hours of image movement.
“The solar eclipse glasses are said to filter the rays from the sun and the annular solar eclipse is expected to last between
7.14 a.m. to 9.50 a.m.,’’ Olunoiki said.
Rev. Joseph Tofiji-Bankole, the Chaplain of Legem Nursery and Primary School, Ikate, Surulere, told NAN that the his organisation was only supporting the campaign by the government for eye protection during the eclipse.
“Without the eclipse eye glasses, it is a bad thing to view the eclipse unprotected.
“When people view the eclipse without the glasses, they may not know the harm it has caused to their eyes until a week or two after,’’ he said.
He said that children should be protected from the effects because they were curious and did not know the implication of viewing the eclipse with naked eyes.
“We ask that children be educated on the use of eclipse eye glasses to view the eclipse and learn something from it.
“It may lead to interest in science and astronomy,’’ he said adding that the last eclipse happened in 2006 and that the producers of the glasses in France were also spreading the message.
A pair of solar eclipse eye glasses costs about N400. (NAN)