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Mercury is about to travel across the sun for the last time until 2032. Here’s how to watch the rare transit.

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Mercury is about to travel across the sun for the last time until 2032. Here’s how to watch the rare transit.

Category : entrepreneur

  • Mercury will glide across our view of the sun on November 11. The transit won’t happen again until 2032. 
  • To watch, you’ll need a telescope or binoculars equipped with a certified solar filter to protect your eyes from damage. Don’t ever look directly at the sun.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Mercury transit.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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

This event is called a “transit,” and it happens when a planet passes between Earth and its star. Within our own solar system, we only see transits of Venus and Mercury transits, since those are the only planets between us 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. 

We won’t see a Mercury transit again until 2032. Mercury only makes this transit about 13 times per century.

The last transit was in 2016; NASA satellites recorded footage (below) of the tiny planet crossing the blazing disk of the sun.

mercurytransit_2016

On May 9, 2016, Mercury passed directly between the sun and Earth in a transit that lasted more than seven hours.
NASA

Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system (sorry, Pluto doesn’t count), so to watch the transit, you’d need special equipment as well as protection for your eyes.

How to watch the Mercury transit

Mercury will take five-and-a-half hours to cross in front of the sun on Monday. 

You should not try to watch this event directly, since you’d risk severe eye damage. (You wouldn’t be able to see much with your naked eyes, anyway.) Instead, you’ll need a telescope or binoculars with a certified solar filter. Make sure the solar filter is not scratched or damaged before turning your lens to the sun.

mercury transit 2019

The upcoming Mercury transit will take about five-and-a-half hours.
NASA

Many local museums and astronomy clubs will be hosting viewing parties with all the safety equipment you need. 

The transit will begin at 7:35 a.m. EST — just after sunrise on the US East Coast. Viewers there will be able to watch the entire transit, as will people in Central and South America and some parts of West Africa.

The map below shows which parts of the world will get to see the event.

mercury transit map 2019

NASA/JPL

The rest of the US will see Mercury’s transit at sunrise, and Europe, Africa, and the Middle East will catch it at sunset. Australia and most of Asia are out of luck.

However, anyone can watch the transit on a livestream from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a sun-orbiting spacecraft. The Virtual Telescope Project has also promised live coverage from Earth-based telescopes.

Don’t get your hopes up for a Venus transit next — that won’t happen until 2117.

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About Author

Sammy Singh

Global VC, Founder, and entrepreneur extraordinaire as featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Sammy Singh is a graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business as well as a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. Sammy is best known as a renowned financial technology global entrepreneur and has founded over 26 different firms across industry and all over the world. He is a venture capitalist,a TV/ Film actor, tax specialist, and marketing solutions strategist. Connect with Sammy Singh on social media below! www.linkedin.com/in/cfo www.instagram.com/champagnegqpapi www.facebook.com/officialsammysingh www.twitter.com/cxosynergy www.medium.com/@sammysingh www.crunchbase.com/sammysingh

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