I promised my loyal followers about three and a half years ago that arrangements would be made for another solar transit of Mercury in November of 2019. I stick to my word and I’m happy to see the solar system is in agreement.
The transit will be on November 11, 2019 this year – one week away as I write this. The next such transit won’t occur until November 13, 2032. That will be our rain date.
A transit occurs when an object – a planet, the moon, or any other object passes between the earth and the sun. More information can be found at Wikipedia. The transit cannot be seen with the naked eye. Staring at the sun is dangerous to your vision – despite any presidential demonstrations to the contrary. Safe viewing tips can be found from NASA‘s web site. Notably – do not combine solar glasses with binoculars!
Last time you may recall, I set up my CPC-800 with a solar filter at the Keene Central School to observe the event. It was gratifying to see so many teachers and kids taking a look! They marched out by classrooms in turn throughout the day.
Behold this photo taken from KCS on that day. Mercury is the well-defined dot towards the lower-right, while the other blobs are sunspots:
Viewing such events help us to understand how we fit into the universe.
This years event occurs on Veteran’s day, so school won’t be in session. But I’d still like students and everyone for that matter, to participate. I’m planning to setup my telescope at Marcy Field in Keene, NY. along with several other local astronomers. You can come take a peek. The transit lasts from 7:39 AM in the morning until about 1:07 PM and will be visible in its entirety from the eastern United States, weather permitting. I hope to see you there!