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On Monday, November 11, Mercury will glide across Greece’s view of the sun in a rare celestial treat.

During the Mercury transit, the planet will pass between Earth and the sun, and while this rare alignment occurs, observers will be able to see Mercury appear as an inky black dot crossing the sun’s bright disk.

The event, which is called a “transit” happens when a planet passes between Earth and its star. Within the solar system, we only see transits of Venus and Mercury transits, since those are the only planets between the earth and the sun. But when it comes to other star systems, NASA telescopes can hunt for new exoplanets by watching for tiny dips in a star’s brightness caused by transits of orbiting planets.

According to scientists, Mercury only makes this transit about 13 times per century so if you miss this year’s Mercury transit, you’ll have to wait until 2032 to catch one.

Experts warned that only telescopes with specially manufactured solar filters must be used to observe the passage, otherwise, the eye retina might be severely damaged due to looking directly at the Sun with an optical instrument, such as binoculars or telescopes without filters.


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