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A Rare Celestial Crossing: Mercury Will Transit the Sun on May 9

Rogue Valley

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A Rare Celestial Crossing: Mercury Will Transit the Sun on May 9

Next week, on Monday, May 9, skywatchers on Earth will be able to see Mercury make its way across the surface of the sun. The so-called transit of Mercury occurs only about 13 times every century, and the next one won't take place until 2019. The rare pass will be visible either partially or in full throughout most of the world. The event will not be visible in Japan and other parts of eastern Asia; Oceania and the nearby island nations; or Antarctica, according to a statement from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). However, viewers in those areas can watch the event online.


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Transit of Mercury across the Sun - 2016
 

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I hope we're not supposed to look directly at the sun!
 

Kal'Stang

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I hope we're not supposed to look directly at the sun!

From the article...

The small apparent size of Mercury in the sky means that, unlike Venus, its transit cannot be seen using pinhole projectors. Instead, the best way for amateurs to view the event may involve projecting the image of the sun using binoculars or a telescope.

WARNING: Do NOT attempt to observe the sun without appropriate eye protection. Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage or blindness.
 
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