Basic Astronomy

Transit of Mercury across Sun - 9th May 2016

Transit of Mercury

(Transit of Mercury as seen on 8th November 2006.)

On 9th May 2016, people from most part of the Earth can experience a rare celestial event. The planet Mercury will move directly between the Sun and the Earth. Viewers from Earth will watch Mercury (which will look like a dark spot) to move across the face of Sun.

This is a very rare event and occurs only 13 or 14 times in a century. The last Mercury transit occur in 8th November 2006. The next Mercury transit will be visible in 11th November 2019 and then the next one will take place in 13th November 2032.

The transit will start from UTC 11:12 and it will end in UTC 18:42.

From where one can watch the Mercury transit?

The transit will be visible from Asia, Africa, North America, Central America, South America, and parts of Europe. The best place to view this event in its entirety will be the eastern South America and eastern United States.

To see location of various places, from where the transit can be visible, you can try the interactive Google Map build by Xavier M. Jubier.

How to watch Mercury transit?

You need to take some precautions to watch Mercury transit across Sun, otherwise you may risk your eyes. You should never try to look directly towards Sun during the transit with the naked eye or with any optical device, such as binoculars or a telescope.

Do not use sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed color film, X-ray films, photographic neutral density filters or Polaroid filters. They are NOT safe for your eyes.

(16th June 2013)

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