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Watch Mercury Sail Across the Sun

by NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR, NY Times:

On Monday, you can watch Mercury sail across the sun.

It’s an astronomical event known as the Mercury transit, and it occurs about a dozen times a century.

During the trip, the planet will appear as a black speck awash in the sun’s light. You can track its celestial silhouette for about seven hours, starting around 7:12 a.m. Eastern and ending around 2:42 p.m.

Depending on the weather, it should be visible from most parts of the world, except for Australia, New Zealand and parts of East Asia.

The best way to view it is through a telescope or on several live streams, but don’t try to sneak a peak with your naked eye or camera phone because that could damage your sight.

Jim Green, the director for planetary science at NASA, said that ever since the telescope was invented some 400 years ago, astronomers had used the transit to gain important details about Mercury’s size, orbit and atmosphere.

Read More @ nytimes.com

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