Rare Mercury transit to be visible from Canada next month

Oct 24 2019, 9:02 am

Mercury will be making its way in front of the sun in a rare event next month, and it will be visible from earth.

According to NASA, the sky will put on a “stellar show” on November 11, 2019. Yes, on 11/11.

“From our perspective on Earth, we can only ever see Mercury and Venus cross in front of, or transit, the sun, so it’s a rare event you won’t want to miss,” said NASA.

The space agency is advising viewers to use proper safety equipment before looking up at the sun, but from nearly all over the world, including Canada, you’ll be able to see a “tiny dark spot moving slowly across the disk of the sun.”

And because Mercury is small, you’ll need binoculars or a telescope with a Sun filter to see it.

NASA is also recommending attending a viewing party at a local museum or astronomy club event.

EarthSky said that Mercury will come into view on the sun’s face around 7:36 am ET, or 4:36 am PT.

“It’ll make a leisurely journey across the sun’s face, reaching greatest transit (closest to sun’s center) at approximately 10:20 am ET and finally exiting around 1:04 pm ET,” Earthsky stated.

NASA said areas in the West Coast won’t be able to see Mercury until the sun is visible in the sky. But that’s okay, because the entire transit will take about 5.5 hours.

For west coasters, NASA said that Mercury will be closest to the centre of the sun around 8:20 am PT.

Whatever you do out there, be sure when you look up, you do so safely. And never look directly at the sun.