Mercury skips across sun's vast glare in rare transit

Mercury last passed across the sun in May 2016

Professor Mike Cruise, president of the UK's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), said: "This is a rare event, and we'll have to wait 13 years until it happens again". The rest of North America, Europe and Africa will catch part of the action.

However, people in the United Kingdom will have the chance of viewing this unique event as amateur astronomical societies and public observatories will run events that will allow members of the public to safely enjoy the transit.

A transit can only take place when the Earth, Mercury and the Sun are exactly in line in three dimensions.

Starting at 7:35 a.m. ET, it will take more than five hours for Mercury to pass from one side of the sun to the other.

You'll need proper eye protection for Monday's spectacle: Telescopes or binoculars with solar filters are recommended. The next transit isn't until 2032, and North America won't get another shot until 2049.

The planet Mercury will on Monday, November 11th, pass in front of the sun as it does once in every 13 years.

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Mercury will cross in front of the sun on 11 November, but don't expect any barnyard animals to worry about the sky falling: the planet is 190 times smaller than the visible size of the Sun.

"That's really close to the limit of what you can see", he told AP. At about 9:20 a.m. CST, Mercury's center will be as close as it is going to get to the Sun's.

Venus transits are much rarer. Periodic, fleeting dips of starlight indicate an orbiting planet. "So far, TESS has discovered 29 confirmed exoplanets using transits-with over 1,000 more candidates being studied by scientists".

Look at little Mercury go!

But keep in mind to not look directly into the sun as doing so can cause blindness.

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.

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