A transit of Mercury is taking place on 9th May 2016. This is a relatively a rare event: there will be another on 11th November 2019 but, after that, you’ll have to wait until 2032!
What’s it all about?
Mercury is a fascinating planet and the target of the European Space Agency’s upcoming mission, BepiColombo. In the run-up to the transit of Mercury, we’ve invited European scientists that study the innermost planet or whose research relates to transits to contribute guest features about their work. Read more:
Mercury: the planet, the missions and the transit – by Prof Dave Rothery
The Venus Twilight Experiment: What we learned from the last transit of Venus by Dr Paolo Tanga
How to view the transit
There are going to be plenty of ways to safely view the transit, both online and through public events with solar telescopes. If you plan to organise an outreach event to observe the transit, please register your event here.
For details about how to observe the transit safely and videos about the planet, visit Discover Mercury.
Click on the map to see where and when the transit is visible from Earth.
Europlanet is holding two live Google Hangouts in the run-up to the transit of Mercury. Find out more and join in a Q&A session about the transit, Mercury, the BepiColombo mission to Mercury and activities that will be happening on the 9th May.
Europlanet Mercury Live Hangout Part 1 – Tuesday, 12 April 2016 at 18:00-18:30 UTC
Europlanet Mercury Live Hangout Part 2 – Tuesday, 19 April 2016 at 18:00-18:30 UTC
We’d like to see your pictures of the transit and of you or your friends viewing the event. Tweet your selfies using the hashtag #MercuryTransitSelfie
Share Europlanet’s video about the transit:
Transit of Mercury Schools Challenge
The European Space Agency is challenging European school students to observe the transit and to recreate the measurements made by astronomers around 300 years ago in order to calculate the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Find out more here.