Transit Of Mercury Event On May 9, To Be Hosted By Illinois State University Planetarium

First Posted: May 06, 2016 04:21 AM EDT

The Illinois State University Planetarium offers a special astronomical event, which is the first transit of Mercury since 2006 on May 9. You will witness the planet Mercury passes between the Sun and the Earth.

Washington Times reports that the "Transit of Mercury" will occur again in 2019. The next transit of the planet Mercury would not be visible from North America until 2009.

Mercury together with planet Venus rarely passes between the sun and the Earth. It happens 13 or 14 times a century with Mercury and less than twice a century with Venus.

The transit will last for over 7 hours. It will be visible everywhere on Earth except New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia and some parts of Eastern Asia. People from eastern North America will see the whole transit.

The Mercury transit starts after 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) and ends at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT). On the other hand, on the West coast, the transit starts at sunrise and ends around 11:30 PDT (0230 EDT; 0630 GMT on May 10). The planetarium software program such as Skysafari and Starry Night will give the exact time for each location.

The Illinois State University Planetarium has a special program before the transit event on Saturday, May 7 at 3:30 p.m. They would discuss the history and reason for the transit and how to safely view the transit. This is open to the public and free.

On May 9 at the Illinois State University Planetarium, the Mercury transit event will start at 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It will be held at the Bloomington Parks and Reservation Departments' Tipton Parks north unit, at East College Avenue and Airport Road. The ISU Planetarium and the Twin Cities Amateur Astronomers (TCAA) will provide a special solar telescope, which is pointed toward Mercury allocating the viewers to see the transit.

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