Mercury to glide across the Sun on November 11

Mercury To Glide Across Sun On November 11

Mercury To Glide Across Sun On November 11

The planet Mercury will pass between the Earth and the sun on Monday (Nov 11), a rare celestial event that has excited astronomers and skywatchers alike. The rest of North America, Europe and Africa will catch part of the action. However, he warned that looking at the Sun without appropriate protection can seriously damage the eyes.

It'll be visible from Minnesota as the sun rises Monday, continuing through about noon.

Mercury's next transit isn't until 2032, and North America won't get another viewing opportunity until 2049.

A Mercury transit happens only about 13 times a century.

Since Mercury blocks out a tiny part of the light from the Sun, it should not be seen using the pinhole projectors that worked successfully in the solar eclipse in March 2015, or by using "eclipse glasses" with solar filters. There's no harm in pulling out the eclipse glasses from the total solar eclipse across the USA two years ago, but it would take "exceptional vision" to spot minuscule Mercury, said NASA solar astrophysicist Alex Young.

Mercury will pass between Earth and the sun.

Edmund Halley used a transit of Venus in 1761 and 1769 to determine the absolute distance to the Sun.

How can you see it? "So Mercury's going to probably be too small". The next one isn't until 2117.

It starts on Monday at about 7.35am (8.35pm Singapore time) and will last almost six hours.

The University of Minnesota's Bell Museum in the Twin Cities is planning a viewing event on Monday morning, if skies aren't cloudy.

The last Mercury transit took place in 2016, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured unprecedented images of the event, at a higher resolution than ever before.

Mercury transits have always been useful tools for scientists.

It's this kind of transit that allows scientists to discover alien worlds.

"Transits are a visible demonstration of how the planets move around the sun, and everyone with access to the right equipment should take a look", Mike Cruise, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said in a statement from England.

So far, two NASA space probes have visited Mercury, Mariner 10 in 1974 and 1975, and MESSENGER, which orbited the planet from 2011 until a deliberate crash landing in 2015.

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