Mercury To Transit Across Sun Today; Here’s How To Watch It

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Mercury will transit across the Sun today (November 11) and will be spotted only after 13 years, in 2032. The transit will take five-and-a-half hours for viewers on Earth, as Mercury begins its traverse at 7:35 AM, Eastern time. Space enthusiasts will require protective glasses and powerful telescope equipment to view the transit.

Mercury To Transit Across Sun Today

 

Mercury Transit: What Is It?

The Mercury transit can be understood in a comparison with a solar eclipse. In a solar eclipse, the Moon stands between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the solar rays from penetrating for a brief time. The Mercury transit is similar, only here, the planet will fly by the Sun.

The Mercurian planet is larger than the Moon, roughly 1,406 KM larger in diameter. However, the planet is farther away from us, which makes it appear tiny, irrespective of its larger size. This in turn, will not block much of the sunlight reaching the Earth, differentiating the specter from an eclipse.

Mercury Transit: How To Watch It

The Mercury transit can be viewed from Earth. There are differentiating factors like the geographical location of the viewer. People in Europe and Asia can witness the transit during the sunset. The Mercury transit will take place during daylight for most of the US, South America, and Canada, which might make it hard to enjoy the event.

The Mercury transit might be too miniature to spot, even with eclipse glasses. NASA says the best option to watch the Mercury transit event is to use a telescope with a certified sun filter. Solar projection boxes and sun funnels can also be used. Another option is to live stream the Mercury transit. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory will capture the entire transit event.

 

Enthusiastic viewers should bear in mind to not look at the Sun directly without protection. Also, the eclipse glasses and binoculars should not be combined, as it may have permanent and irreversible damage to the eyes. There will be regular updates from NASA and the European Space Agency from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

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