Transit of Mercury — May 9
New York – Skywatchers get a truly rare treat of witnessing Mercury glide across the sun on Monday, May 9—the first in ten years.
The tiny black silhouette of the the planet will take about seven hours to make its trek across the solar disk, from 11:12 GMT to 18:42 GMT. Weather permitting, this means the whole transit will be visible from most of the Americas and western Europe, and portions will be visible from most of Africa and parts of Asia. Folks in eastern Asia and Australia will miss out, unfortunately, since it will be nighttime there.
The innermost planet will pass between Earth and the sun, and will eclipse only 1/150th of the solar disk.
Safe viewing of the sun’s disk will require magnification using a small solar-filter-equipped telescope.
Do not look directly into the sun through a bare telescope or bare binoculars, or with your naked eye — and that includes sunglasses. If you do, you will go blind. (Mercury is so small against the sun that you cannot see it with the naked eye, anyway.) View the transit only through proper, solar-safe filters on optical instruments.