Rare Mercury Transit Will Occur In Front Of The Sun On May 9

Posted: May 4 2016, 8:06am CDT | by , Updated: May 4 2016, 8:30am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Mercury will Transit the Sun on May 9
  • Rare Mercury Transit will Occur in Front of the Sun on May 9

A unique Mercury transit will take place soon in front of the sun.

This coming Monday, the planet Mercury will make a rare transit in front of sun. It will glide between the earth and the sun. Such an event occurs about a dozen or more times per century.

The event will be observed by professional and amateur astronomers. Both earth-based telescopes and sky-based observatories will be employed to record the event with fidelity. We could gather a lot of data about Mercury’s atmosphere via this method.

The last transit was a decade ago. As for the next one, it will take place three years from now. So this is the ideal time to watch this small planet as it cuts corners between the earth and the sun.

Most astronomers and skygazers get pretty excited when it comes to two unrelated heavenly bodies coming in close alignment in the starry skies above.

It is a unique opportunity to observe the heavens where there are more things than are to be found in our human-all-too-human philosophy. Thus three solar telescopes belonging to NASA will capture images of this event with extra precision and clarity.

The Mercury transit will last a time span of 7.5 hours. Millions of enthusiasts will gather at key regions around the global village to observe the event when it does occur. It will begin at 7:12 AM and go on till 2:42 PM, according to NASA.

The eastern coast of the USA will get to see the event with ease. As for the western coast, there people will get to see it only after sunset. It is advised not to look directly at the sun during the time span of the transit.

This advice is being given for obvious reasons. The sun can destroy your vision if you look at it for too long with the naked eye. Even if you do look at it, you ought to have the proper protective lens fitted on your telescopes or binoculars.

The transit can only be seen through a magnifying medium. Also the transit may be seen live on NASA’s website online. Two other spacecrafts will be observing the event too.

They are the SOHO spacecraft and the Japanese Hinode. In the past transits were a difficult thing to see using the normal channels. Yet now they can be observed with ease. Mankind has definitely progressed since primitive times.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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