SAFETY warnings have been issued to anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of the sun's partial eclipse at the end of this month.

Weather permitting, Scarborough should enjoy a perfect view of the event at sunrise on Saturday, May 31.

The sun will emerge like a pair of devil's horns out of the sea, but members of Scarborough and District Astronomical Society have warned viewers not to look directly at the spectacular phenomenon.

John Harper, from the society, said: "The sun is a million times too bright to look at.

"At the last partial eclipse of the sun, more than 200 people in Great Britain suffered permanent eye damage."

Mr Harper said looking through binoculars, a telescope or any lens system for even a fraction of a second could make someone blind for the rest of their life.

Proper filters must be used to look at the sun, he said, and are also needed on cameras to take pictures safely.

He said: "There is only one safe way of viewing the eclipse, and that is by projecting the image on to white card or paper."

Astronomers from the society will be setting up telescopes at Scarborough spa complex on May 31 for an uninterrupted view of the eclipse, which will be visible from 4.36am.

Updated: 09:09 Wednesday, May 21, 2003