The planet Mercury will pass in front of the surface of the Sun on May 9 in a rare celestial event, with the impressive images beamed out by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agency at NASA headquarters in Washington.
The transit of Mercury over the sun’s face takes place 13 or 14 times every century, usually in May or November, with the process reportedly visible from most places in the world.
Mercury begins its transit at 7:12 am EST and will take about 7.5 hours to fully cross the sun’s face, finishing at 2:42 pm. The graphic from NASA above shows its expected path.
Most people in Europe and North America should be able to view the event directly through a telescope or binoculars, weather permitting. Just make sure you use a solar filter before watching the transit. If you don’t have a filter, don’t try to look directly at the sun, not even through your phone camera. You’ll risk severe eye damage.
Alternatively, there are quite a few live streams of the transit, like the neat one below from Slooh, a group that collects views from different telescopes worldwide:
— NASA (@NASA) May 9, 2016