Safety warning ahead of solar eclipse

Experts have warned people to be careful ahead of the solar eclipse today.

The safety warning issued by the Royal Astronomical Society and Society for Popular Astronomy details the harmful effects that can be caused by people directly viewing the eclipse or using items that are not appropriate to view it with.

The most important message is never to look directly at the Sun, even through sunglasses or dark material such as a bin liner or photographic negative.

Makeshift filters may not screen out the harmful infrared radiation that can burn the retina of the eye and can cause severe problems.

To view the solar eclipse safely, use special solar glasses - these are the only way to view the partial solar eclipse in safety other than using a telescope that is fitted with a safety filter.