A transit of Mercury — when the planet passes directly in front of the Sun from the viewpoint of the Earth — occurs about 13 times a century. The next one will be Monday, November 11, 7:36AM-1:04PM Eastern time on the East Coast of the U.S. The one after that will be in 2032 but not visible in the U.S. The next one visible here will be in 2049. If you want to take advantage of the one on Monday, you’ll need a telescope (because Mercury appears so small) with appropriate filters (because it’s transiting the Sun). Here are opportunities to view the event safely:
- New England Sci-Tech (16 Tech Circle, Natick) will host a breakfast talk and viewing starting at 7AM.
- The EcoTarium in Worcester will host a viewing with appropriate equipment from 9AM to 1PM (members only from 9AM to 10AM), included with the price of admission to the museum.
- NASA will broadcast video of the transit in near real-time from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.