Mercury in front of the sun

Mercury in front of the sun

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Transit of Mercury

During a Mercury transit, the planet Mercury passes in front of the Sun. Thereby the Sun as well as Mercury and the Earth stand almost exactly in one line. It is a similar constellation as the solar eclipse, but the small planet only covers a maximum of 0.004% of the solar surface. Therefore, the Mercury transit cannot be perceived as darkness on earth in contrast to the solar eclipse.

When does the Mercury transit take place?

On 11 November 2019 it's time! Although Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun every 116 days and is therefore in conjunction, the transit takes place only about 13-14 times in a century. Because only to these events Mercury is to be seen from the earth in front of the sun. The movement on 11 November is estimated globally at a duration of 5 ½ hours between 12.34 pm and a few seconds before 06.05 pm (UTC).

How can I see Mercury?

Mercury can be recognized with a telescope as a small black point that slowly moves over the solar disk. Unfortunately, the spectacle cannot be observed with the naked eye.