Mercury’s transit won’t be seen again until 2032
A rare vision of tiny Mercury gliding across the molten face of the sun happens Monday morning in a cosmic pageant that won’t be seen again until 2032.
The journey of Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system and nearest to the sun, begins at about 7:35 a.m. Eastern, traversing the sun’s face for more than five hours before exiting about 1:05 p.m.
While the trip cannot be watched by the naked eye, several webcasts are scheduled, and a handful of astronomy clubs are having events.
“The coolest thing for me is the historical signficance of transits,” said Padi Boyd, an astrophysicist with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. “Humans have been watching patterns in the sky for millennia. It allowed people to get the architecture of the solar system.”
While the next transit of Mercury may be in 2032, Boyd said people living in the U.S. won’t have an opportunity to see it again until 2049.
“It’s really the last time we’ll get a great view for 30 years,” she said.
The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 is planning to broadcast the event live via a webcast. Watch at: https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/
NASA will have a nearly live webcast of the event. Watch at: https://mercurytransit.gsfc.nasa.gov/2019/.