Tech & Science : Mercury is about to travel across the sun for the last time until 2032. Here's how to watch the rare transit. - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Mercury is about to travel across the sun for the last time until 2032. Here's how to watch the rare transit.

21:16  08 november  2019
21:16  08 november  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

How To Watch Mercury's Transit Across The Sun This Morning

  How To Watch Mercury's Transit Across The Sun This Morning Last week, we wrote about one way to get perspective on your problems by comparing them to, well, the size of entire planets and galaxies. In case you want to feel even more insignificant, as of 7:35am EST today and for an estimated five and a half hours, Mercury will cross the face of the sun; the transit of Mercury, as it’s referred to, only happens 13 times every century and won’t happen again until 2032. (And for those in the U.S., you won’t be able to see it in person until 2049.) In case you want to watch it live, it should go without saying but don’t stare into the sun and expect to see the transit.

This image of Mercury uses enhanced colours to emphasise chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences on the planet's surface. This image of Mercury uses enhanced colours to emphasise chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences on the planet's surface.
  • Mercury will glide across our view of the sun on November 11. The transit won't happen again until 2032.
  • To watch, you'll need a telescope or binoculars equipped with a certified solar filter to protect your eyes from damage. Don't ever look directly at the sun.
  • Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Mercury transit.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Monday, November 11, Mercury will glide across our view of the sun in a rare celestial treat.

Planet Mercury passes across the face of the Sun

  Planet Mercury passes across the face of the Sun Astronomers are observing a rare event, a transit of the planet Mercury.During the transit, Mercury appears as a dark silhouetted disc against the bright surface of our star.

This event is called a "transit," and it happens when a planet passes between Earth and its star. Within our own solar system, we only see transits of Venus and Mercury transits, since those are the only planets between us and the sun. But when it comes to other star systems, NASA telescopes can hunt for new exoplanets by watching for tiny dips in a star's brightness caused by transits of orbiting planets.

We won't see a Mercury transit again until 2032. Mercury only makes this transit about 13 times per century.

The last transit was in 2016; NASA satellites recorded footage (below) of the tiny planet crossing the blazing disk of the sun.

On May 9, 2016, Mercury passed directly between the sun and Earth in a transit that lasted more than seven hours. On May 9, 2016, Mercury passed directly between the sun and Earth in a transit that lasted more than seven hours.

Oh Boy, Mercury Is Gonna Transit The Sun

  Oh Boy, Mercury Is Gonna Transit The Sun Mercury will transit the Sun for the first time since 2016 this coming Monday. It won’t do so again until 2032. The smallest planet’s eccentric orbit means it doesn’t often pass in front of the Sun from Earth’s vantage point. This year, part of the 5.5-hour transit will be visible to much of North America starting at 7:36 a.m. ET. The eastern half of North America and all of South America will see the whole show, which will last until 1:04 p.m. ET. Africa, Europe, and western Asia will be able to see it at Monday’s sunset.

Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system (sorry, Pluto doesn't count), so to watch the transit, you'd need special equipment as well as protection for your eyes.

How to watch the Mercury transit

Mercury will take five-and-a-half hours to cross in front of the sun on Monday.

You should not try to watch this event directly, since you'd risk severe eye damage. (You wouldn't be able to see much with your naked eyes, anyway.) Instead, you'll need a telescope or binoculars with a certified solar filter. Make sure the solar filter is not scratched or damaged before turning your lens to the sun.

The upcoming Mercury transit will take about five-and-a-half hours. The upcoming Mercury transit will take about five-and-a-half hours.

Many local museums and astronomy clubs will be hosting viewing parties with all the safety equipment you need.

The transit will begin at 7:35 a.m. EST - just after sunrise on the US East Coast. Viewers there will be able to watch the entire transit, as will people in Central and South America and some parts of West Africa.

A transit of Mercury was first seen in 1631 and nearly disregarded

  A transit of Mercury was first seen in 1631 and nearly disregarded The first time the planet was spotted sauntering in front of the sun, it seemed like a mistake. The double take fundamentally reordered our view of the cosmos.Observations of the transit of Mercury have been reported as far back as the ninth century, but after Galileo introduced the telescope in 1610, it became clear that earlier observers were probably seeing sunspots rather than Mercury.

The map below shows which parts of the world will get to see the event.

a close up of a logo

The rest of the US will see Mercury's transit at sunrise, and Europe, Africa, and the Middle East will catch it at sunset. Australia and most of Asia are out of luck.

However, anyone can watch the transit on a livestream from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a sun-orbiting spacecraft. The Virtual Telescope Project has also promised live coverage from Earth-based telescopes.

Don't get your hopes up for a Venus transit next - that won't happen until 2117.

Extinct fish found in Victorian lake .
A rare fish that was thought to be extinct in Victoria has been spotted for the first time in two decades during work on a lake recovery project.Two Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon fish were identified during a lake recovery project in northwest Victoria on October 29.

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