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Science 09 May 2016 Witness Mercury tran ...

Witness Mercury transit across Sun today

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published May 9, 2016, 6:16 am IST
Updated May 9, 2016, 6:16 am IST
The Mercury is seen as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun.
The transit can be viewed only with the help of telescopes with a solar filter.
 The transit can be viewed only with the help of telescopes with a solar filter.

Chennai: People in Chennai can also witness a rare astronomical event on Monday. The planet Mercury will transit across the face of the Sun on Monday. It takes place when the planet Mercury comes between the Sun and Earth.  The Mercury is seen as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun.

"We can witness this transit from 4.40 pm till sunset. We will catch only the initial part of the transit for about one and half hours duration," said A.Prabhakaran, astronomy educator, SPACE. "The visibility will be difficult as it will be close to sunset, but it will be possible.

 

The transit can be viewed only with the help of telescopes with a solar filter. We need to take precautions before viewing the transit like safe solar and projection methods for observing," he said.

"We also recommend going to a high point or finding an unobstructed area with free sight to West-northwest for the best view of the transit," he said. Transits of Mercury with respect to Earth are much more frequent than transits of Venus, with about 13 or 14 transits in a century as it is closer to Sun and orbits it more rapidly. The next transit which is visible from India is on November 13, 2032.

Observers in most of the world will be able to see the event. The entire transit will be visible in the western part of Europe and Africa, as well as in the east of North America, and in South America, and north of the polar circle. In East Asia, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand it will not be visible.

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