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The last transit of Mercury until 2032 is on Monday

November 08, 2019 @ 12:59 By: gordon Category: Astronomy

Source: Wikipedia

The planet Mercury will passing across the face of the sun on Monday, November 11th. The transit starts at 07:35am Eastern (12:35 UTC) and ends at 1:04pm (18:04 UTC). This will be the last transit of Mercury until November 13th, 2032 (it’s a Saturday).

Observing it is a bit challenging because you can’t just walk outside with a pair of binoculars and stare at the sun to see the tiny black dot that will be Mercury. You need special solar filters for your binoculars/telescope/camera to make it safe to look at — a neutral density filter is not sufficient. If you don’t use an appropriate solar filter, you risk causing yourself serious eye damage and you could also ruin your binoculars/telescope/camera in the process.

My photo of the last transit of Mercury

I observed the last transit of Mercury in May 2016 in front of where I work at lunch using a piece of #14 welder’s glass in front of the lens of my camera. My plans for the upcoming transit include both my 6″ telescope and my William Optics RedCat 51, with proper solar filters, of course!

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have the necessary equipment. If you want to observe it, members of the Ottawa Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be at Marion Dewar Plaza outside Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West) from 7:30am to 1:30pm with their telescopes and the public is welcome to drop by and observe it safely. Monday is Remembrance Day, so be sure to leave yourself lots of time to get there.

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