Muscat: People in Oman have been advised not to look at the sun with their naked eyes during a solar eclipse, as it could cause severe, irreversible damage to them.
Read also: Locations set up all across Oman to watch solar eclipse
The advice came from the Oman Astronomical Society (OAS), as it responded to rumours on social media which claimed it was safe to look at an eclipse without the special glasses through which the sun needed to be viewed.
“It has been circulated on social media that glasses for viewing the solar eclipse are not useful and people are apparently being told not to buy them, because the rumours say there are no glasses that have the capability of reducing the damage caused to the eyes by the sun’s rays during a solar eclipse.”
“Looking at a solar eclipse through the naked eye will cause complete damage to the retina, leading to total or partial blindness.
There is no treatment available for those who do suffer such damage to the retina, and even if the patient does receive treatment, there is no guarantee that his/her eyesight will be as good as it used to be.”
The OAS stressed that people should not look at the sun with the naked eye during an eclipse, because this atmospheric phenomenon is one that tempts people to look up at the sky.
“Do not listen to rumours on social media,” added Issam Al Salhi. “Please only take information from official or knowledgeable sources, and we warn everyone not to look at the solar eclipse directly. Please wear the glasses that have been designated for this.”
Meanwhile, the Oman Astronomical Society has set up two more sites from which to view the upcoming eclipse on December 26. People who live in Musandam or are expected to be there on or around 26 December can watch the solar eclipse from the Atana Musandam resort in Khasab.
“To the people of Musandam, our telescope will be waiting for you to observe the annular eclipse,” said Issam Al Salhi from the society. “Join us.” Over Musandam, the eclipse is expected to begin at 6:30am, with sunrise scheduled to commence at 7am.
Read here: Location set up in Musandam to watch solar eclipse
Maximum eclipse will be seen at 7:38am, before the eclipse ends at 8:56am.
The eclipse observation event at Atana Musandam resort will begin at 6am and end at 9am. In addition, another location in Muscat from which the solar eclipse can be seen has been set up in Muscat, in collaboration with The Research Council.
Their office in Knowledge Oasis Muscat will also welcome people who wish to observe the eclipse.
“Supported by The Research Council, we invite you to attend the annular eclipse viewing event in front of the Innovation Centre building,” added Al Sharji. “Solar eclipse glasses will be provided to all those who attend.”