Mercury skips across sun's vast glare in rare transit

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Occurrences like this are quite rare, and if you miss today's event, your next opportunity will be in 2032.

Space for Life is inviting anyone who is interested in taking part in the event to visit the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium from 7 a.m. until 1:04 p.m.

The whole 5½-hour occasion will be obvious, assuming the rainclouds blow over, in the eastern USA furthermore, Canada, and all Central and South America.

The transit of Mercury will be visible from countries like America, Europe, among others.

Mercury, the innermost planet, can be seen as a small black dot in front of the vast burning sun as it passes between the Earth and our parent star.

The Mercury transit 2019 is underway. Earthlings get treated to only 13 or 14 Mercury travels a century.

As always, it's not safe to stare at the sun with the naked eye, though it won't be visible anyway, without a telescope or binoculars fit with solar filters. If Mercury could talk (and it is the communication planet) it would say "don't look directly at me as I cross the sun, dummy".

During its 2012 transit of the sun, larger and closer Venus was barely detectable by Young with his solar-viewing glasses. Lastly, the shadow of Mercury gets into contact with the edge of the sun's disk. We'll be updating this throughout the transit, so check back for more! The next one isn't until 2117.

Mercury will cut a diagonal path left to right across the sun on Monday, entering at bottom left (around the 8 hour mark on a clock) and exiting top right (around the 2 hour mark).

In spite of the fact that the trek will show up moderate, Mercury will zoom over the sun at about 150,000 miles per hour.

NASA's website has images and videos of the event close to real time. Scientists will use the transit to fine-tune telescopes, especially those in space that can not be adjusted by hand, according to Young.

Astronomers can use this technique to discover alien planets orbiting stars in distant systems.

"Another use of transits is the dimming of Sun or starlight as a planet crosses in front of it".

But do not forget to not look directly into the sun as doing so can cause blindness.

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