The Ohio Northern University observatory will host "The Transit of Mercury Across the Sun" from 10 a.m.to noon Monday. The next opportunity to behold Mercury transiting the sun will be on November 13, 2034. Whereas the moon is capable of blocking all of the Sun's light from reaching the Earth, Mercury's size and distance means only a fraction of the Sun will be blocked. Arrangements have been made to capture this rare event.
"Mercury passes in front of the sun approximately a dozen times each century, but the November 11 event will be the last one visible from North America until 2049", said Mike Brake, Oklahoma City Astronomy Club member.
A special Astro Video Camera and solar filter will be used with a telescope to project the transit onto a 60-inch monitor in the meeting room.
You may also be remembering the transit of Venus, a much rarer phenomenon. Directly looking at the Sun without a solar screen can lead to permanent eye damage or even blindness. A transit is when a celestial object, like a planet (in this case Mercury), passes directly in front of the sun.
On the news side, remember that the probe BepiColombo, launched past year to study Mercury, is still on the way to the planet. "The fastest planet Mercury will pass between the Sun and the Earth", Varank said on Twitter.
Anyone who wants to take part in a viewing should know that this is the last chance to see this wonderful celestial event until it happens next in 2032. It's expected to take almost five hours for the planet to make its way across, so if you don't get there right at 6:30, you won't miss anything.
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