On Monday, May 9th, the planet Mercury will cross the face of the Sun, in what is known as a “transit.” The Earth and Mercury must be aligned properly in their orbits for the transit to be visible. Mercury’s orbit is inclined 7° to the plane of the ecliptic, making Mercury transits an uncommon astronomical event, occurring only about 13 times a century. The next Mercury transit will occur in 2019.
The transit begins at 7:12 a.m. EDT; a telescope or high-powered binoculars are required to observe the event. Observing events will be taking place all over the world. CAUTION: Please do not look at the Sun with the unaided eye; use solar glasses, or telescopes or binoculars with solar filters.
The entire transit will be visible to persons in eastern North America, and western Europe. The western U.S., most of Europe, Africa, and Asia will be able to observe a portion of the transit. There are numerous websites broadcasting the event live.
LIVE TRANSIT WEBCASTS
Coca Cola Space Science Center: http://www.ccssc.org/webcast.html
Sky and Telescope: http://livestream.com/skyandtelescope/mercury
Griffith Observatory TV: http://livestream.com/GriffithObservatoryTV/MercuryTransit2016
Bareket Observatory, Israel: http://www.bareket-astro.com/en/astronomical-webcasts/2016-transit-of-mercury-live-webcast.html
NASA Night Sky Network: https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/news-display.cfm?News_ID=721
Fred Espenak’s EclipseWise Site: http://eclipsewise.com/oh/tm2016.html
NASA Transit of Mercury: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/news/2016/5/6/transit-of-mercury/
NASA Eclipse Catalog: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/catalog/MercuryCatalog.html
Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/may-9th-transit-of-mercury-everything-you-need-to-know/