Mercury putting on rare show Monday, parading across the sun

Mercury To Glide Across Sun On November 11

Mercury transit 2019 will be seen from Middle East, Africa, and Europe at sunset time, while it will be seen from Eastern and Central America at noon and from US and Canada at sunrise, the full duration of transit will be 5 hours and 30 minutes, Dr Marzouk added.

"That's really close to the limit of what you can see", he said earlier this week.

In the early 1600s, Johannes Kepler discovered that both Mercury and Venus would transit the Sun in 1631.

During the transit, Mercury will look like a tiny black dot gliding across the Sun's face, NASA said in a blog this week, adding that the event will be widely visible from most of Earth, including the Americas, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.

First things first, NASA is reminding the public that it is very unsafe to look directly at the Sun - doing so puts the person at risk of permanent vision damage. "So Mercury's going to probably be too small".

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Do not try to observe this event directly with your naked eye, or through exposed film negatives, smoked glass, mylar, or multiple sunglasses - they will pass infrared radiation which will damage your vision.

President Trump viewing the 2017 solar eclipse from the White House.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is a space-based instrument staring at the sun, will be capturing imagery as Mercury photobombs the sun. You can tune into the live stream here. Instead, projections using protectively covered telescopes could work, according to Space.com.

Transit of Mercury occurs about 13 -15 times in a century, and will not again occur until November 2032 adding it usually happens during May and November months. Kepler didn't survive to see the transits, but French astronomer Pierre Gassendi became the first person to see the transit of Mercury. That's mainly because of how Earth aligns with Mercury's orbit. But the transits of Mercury and Venus still provide scientists with opportunities for scientific investigation in two important areas: exospheres and exoplanets. The last transit of Venus was in June of 2012, and the next will occur in December of 2117.

When Mercury transits the Sun, it causes a slight dip in the Sun's brightness as it blocks a tiny portion of the Sun's light.

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