Watch Mercury Glide Across the Sun in Rare Transit

11 Novembre, 2019, 13:26 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Marcos Brindicci

Mercury's transit only happens about 13 times a century.

People in Greece will be able to witness a rare celestial show on Monday as Mercury passes between the sun and Earth, a phenomenon that is not expected to occur again until 2032.

The 2019 Mercury transit will be visible to the entire East Coast, weather permitting, starting at 7:35 a.m. and lasting until 1:04 p.m. Should you not have one of those, "your local astronomy club may have an opportunity to see the transit using specialized, properly-filtered solar telescopes", NASA notes.

It is extremely unsafe to look directly at the sun through instrument eyepieces because concentrated solar rays can damage your eyes instantly and even blind you.

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But you'll need more than a solar filter to see the transit.

Known as the Transit of Mercury, people across the world (including Qatar) can see the planet Mercury moving over the Solar disk.

The event is being put on together with Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and if it's too cloudy, there will be a live stream in Space Place on the 4th floor. It's a rare transit when the planet is visible while it moves against the Sun's surface, and shouldn't be missed at any cost.

Remember, you're never supposed to look at the sun because it'll blind you, and that goes doubly for looking at the sun through any magnifying device, like binoculars or a telescope. Mercury's orbit around the Sun takes 88 days to complete and it passes between the Earth and Sun every 116 days. This is thought to result from the quality of the telescope in use, and turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere (so-called "seeing"), and has in the past compromised efforts to record transit times. The next European Space Agency mission BepiColombo launched in 2017, will study the planet from 2024 onwards.

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