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  Blindness warning for Venus fans
Updated 02 June 2004, 14.14
Venus will pass in front of the Sun next week
Space fans are being warned to be extra careful when looking out for a special eclipse of Venus and the Sun.

On Tuesday 8 June the planet Venus will pass in front of the Sun and loads of people are expected to be watching.

But there are warnings even a quick glimpse at the event could leave people blind, especially if using binoculars, a telescope or even a camera.

The government's top medical advisor says everyone should watch it on the TV or internet to stay safe.

The movement of Venus in front of the Sun is called a transit, and it's the first time it's happened since 1882.

This is how the transit of Venus looked in 1882
This is how the transit of Venus looked in 1882
People who look at it carefully should see a small black circle drifting across the Sun.

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson said children are really vulnerable if they do try and get a closer look at what is happening.

Another top eye doctor Andrew Elliott, from the The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said: "People may be tempted to take `just one quick glimpse' through binoculars or a telescope so putting their sight at risk.

"But damage to the back of the eye can happen in an instant and once it has happened, there is no treatment."

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