Mercury is going to sail across the Sun on 9th May – Here’s How to Watch
Some events happen in the world that can only be viewed once in a life time. Our solar system is a big one indeed and on May 9th, something will happen that doesn’t happen quite often in the space and it will be visible from Earth.
It is an event that is a must-not-miss-event for space enthusiasts and sky gazers. Mercury, the smallest and nearest planet to the Sun, will sail across it on May 9th and this article has most of the information you need to witness the event.
This event is taking place for the first time in this decade and will not happen again for close to 20-30 years or so. So if weather permits, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the first planet of our solar system travelling across the Sun.
Mercury is the first planet of our solar system. It is also the smallest planet and the closest to the sun. Mercury’s orbital period is equivalent to 88 Earth days and has no known satellites. The planet does not have any atmosphere and therefore temperature on the planet varies from -173 degree Celsius in night to 427 degree Celsius in day time. Mercury also orbits the sun within the Earth’s orbital path and can be seen during the day in morning or evening.
2 The transit of Mercury
The transit of Mercury across the sun is a celestial event where the innermost planet of our solar system, the Mercury comes directly in between the Sun and the Earth at an angle which makes it possible for us to see it in a silhouette. It can be seen as a small black dot travelling across the face of the sun from the Earth. This time the transit will take place on May 9th and many places on the Earth will have a clear view of the event. The transit will be seen clearly from South America, Eastern North America. Australia and far Eastern Asia will not be able to view this spectacular event.
3 Best seats in the house to view the event
The best seats on the Earth to view the event will eventually be the East coast of North America, the South America and Western part of Europe. You can see this amazing event if the weather permits as the transit will happen in daytime in these parts.
For other parts of the world like the West coast of Americas, the transit will be seen early in the morning, while most of the Africa, Asia and East Europe will be in sun setting time to see the transit. People in Australia, New Zealand and East Asia will miss the event totally, due to it happening in night time for them.
4 How to watch it?
The last transit happened in 2012 and most of the world won’t see another till 2019 or even 2032. People in North America will have to wait till 2049 to witness another transit and therefore it is important to view the transit happening on Monday.
But there should be precautions taken in order to view the event. Never look directly at the sun or you can damage your eyes. The timing for the North America is 7am EDT (9pm AEST, 11am UTC). You will need to have a very powerful telescope, one fitted with a solar filter to view the event safely. It should also have very large magnification capabilities.
Or you can view the transit using a computer and internet access at any of the below given sites, where the whole even will be live streamed.