Mercury to make rare transit of the sun on Monday

Pablo Tucker
November 8, 2019

Remember to NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROPER PROTECTION. There's a lot of wonderful stuff out there we might never witness, but there are some pretty fantastic things we can see for ourselves, such as Mercury in transit across the sun.

Newfoundlanders who want to see the transit of Mercury can view it at the Signal Hill National Historic Park Interpretation Centre parking lot from 12:30 2:30 p.m. Hence, Mercury transits are ideal times to observe the planet even though they are relatively rare astronomical events. The next opportunity to behold Mercury transiting the sun will be on November 13, 2034. Planetariums and skywatchers will established up telescopes with filters. Wearing solar filters, such as solar eclipse glasses and looking into the eyepiece of a telescope that is fit on a screen of its own, can still lead to irreversible eye damage. Note that the diameter of Mercury is 195 times smaller than that of the Sun. Because of these planets' size relative to the sun, a transit can only be seen by means of a telescope.

The filters should comply with the ISO 12312-2 global safety standard, according to the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

AAS explained on their website that ISO-certified filters, apart from making your eyesight safe and comfortable, block solar UV and IR radiation.

Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA), University of Karachi, is organizing an event for observing Transit of Mercury transit using high resolution newly installed 16 inch telescope at ISPA Observatory on Monday 11-11 -2019 at 5.30 pm. Mercury will then reach the western edge (right side) of the Sun on the third contact. This usually results in the planet crossing above or below the sun from earth's point of view. Weather prospects, as of writing, for the United States Eastern Seaboard are a bit touch and go.

When it comes between the sun and the earth on Monday, the planet Mercury will appear as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun (unlike a solar eclipse, when the moon wholly or partially covers the sun). The next one will take place on November 13, 2032.

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