The Royal Astronomical Society can show you Mercury’s transit

– You are welcome to view the Transit of Mercury at Piccadilly in London. This is when the smallest planet of the solar system passes between the Earth, the Sun, and Mercury. Members of the public will have the opportunity to watch this event with safety in mind. Special equipment has been set up. According to the Royal Astronomical Society, transits are rare. This type of event has never occurred anywhere on Earth before 2006,, and 2003 here in the UK. The next events will be in 2019, and 2032. after Mercury’s transit on May 9th. Mercury, the planet will transit between the Sun’s surface and Earth during the transit. Mercury can be seen moving as a tiny black dot across the Sun’s surface. (Image: twitter.com/RoyalAstroSoc) If the skies are clear on 9th May, then British amateur astronomers and keen sky-gazers should have a good view of the transit. According to the RAS, the entire event will take place from 12: 12 ST to 19: BST. When Mercury appears as a slow-moving silhouetted disc against the bright sun’s surface, the RAS states that the RAS will be able see it all. A special filter is required in order to view the event. The Royal Astronomical Society stated on their website that “Because Mercury is so small it only blocks out very little of the Sun’s light. It is therefore impossible to see Mercury and it is dangerous to attempt to do so with an unaided eye or a telescope without specially-designed filters. The RAS also warns that looking directly at the Sun during transit or any other time can result in permanent vision loss or blindness. Transits of Mercury relative to Earth are more frequent than those of Venus. This is partly due to Mercury being closer to the Sun and moving more quickly around it. It occurs in May, November or both. Last three transits were in 2006, 2003,, and 1999.. The next transit will take place on 9th May, 2016.. The RAS will host a special event at Burlington House Piccadilly to allow the public to safely experience the Mercury transit. Experts will assist you in operating safe solar filters and a projector to allow anyone who is interested to witness the Mercury transit firsthand. All are welcome to join us. According to the RAS, its staff will be available from noon BST through at least 16: BST and possibly until the Sun sets on the Burlington House buildings. Outside the Royal Academy, equipment and telescopes are available. In its lecture theatre, the RAS will host a live stream of the transit. A special exhibit of Mercury materials will be held in the RAS library. The RAS says that both of these rooms can be found in the building to the right of the telescopes. A map showing the world’s visibility for the Mercury transit on 9th May, 2016. This event is well-observed by the UK and most Western Europe. (Image: ras.org.uk. Credit: F. Espenak/eclipsewise.com) Professor Martin Barstow, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, said regarding the transit of Mercury: “It is always exciting to see rare astronomical phenomena, such as this transit of Mercury. These events show that astronomy can be enjoyed by all. RAS stated that most of the transit, which will either end with sunset or start at sunrise, can be seen from North America and South America. The eastern half of Pacific and the majority of Asia, as well as the remainder of Africa. The transit will be invisible to observers in Australasia, South-Eastern Asia, and eastern Asia. There are 13 to 14 Mercury transits every year, which makes them rare. Each one is visible over large areas of the planet’s surface. The first transit was observed in 1631, twenty years after the invention of the telescope, by the French philosopher, priest, scientist, astronomer, and mathematician Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655). Royal Astronomical Society Burlington House Piccadilly LONDON W1J0BQ. Picaddilly Circus and Green Park are the nearest tube stations. 9 May Start time 12: 00, end time 16: 00. Image: Google.co.uk/maps. Mercury’s grazing transit may be noticed by some observers. Mercury seems to only touch the Sun during this transit. In these cases, it is possible for observers from other parts of the Earth to see a complete transit while others may only be seeing partial transits. 15thNovember, 1999 saw a partial or full transit. The next such transit will be on 11th May, 2391. Video – 2006 Mercury Transit I first watched the time-lapse of the November 2006 Mercury transit. I couldn’t see any other than the Sun. It was only when I rewatched it that I noticed a small dot moving left-to-right along the Sun.

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