Mercury makes its rare transit across the sun's disk
BATON ROUGE - Monday morning, as the sun rose over Baton Rouge, Mercury took center stage in a selection of cosmic choreography that occurs only thirteen times per century.
Remember when the Moon blocked the Sun? Today’s Mercury transit is kind of like that. Mercury passes between the Sun and Earth, but it is MUCH farther away than the Moon, so it appears as a tiny dot blocking a tiny bit of light. https://t.co/xnXQLHXiEx— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) November 11, 2019
At 6 a.m., our solar system’s smallest planet began its transit across the sun.
Though skywatchers can’t observe the phenomenon without the help of binoculars or a telescope, with the right equipment, they’re able to watch Mercury appear as nothing more than a tiny dark spot while it slowly travels across the disk of the sun.
The journey will be visible until about 1 p.m.
During the transit, Baton Rouge’s Highland Road Observatory is providing the public with at least six telescopes to use within their facilities.
The observatory is also asking the public to keep in mind that if not carried out properly, viewing a transit across the sun can be dangerous to one’s eyesight.
So, the observatory suggests avoiding the following practices:
-do not try to watch the transit through sunglasses
-do not try to use your hand to cover a portion of the sun while watching the transit
-do not ‘glance quickly’ in the direction of the sun in hopes of seeing the transit
Click here for more information on Mercury’s rare transit across the disk of the sun.
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