Rare solar event: Transit of Mercury on November 11

An image of the 2012 Mercury transit taken by NASA's Solar Observatory Spacecraft

On Monday, 11 November the planet Mercury will cross in front of the sun.

Onlookers, however, will need more than just a solar filter to see the Mercury transit.

President: Bill Montague of the North Bay Astronomy Club told BayToday that the club will be at the waterfront by the old Chief at 7:15 a.m. and will have four or five telescopes set up for public viewing of the event.

Those looking towards the sun on Monday may notice a tiny black disc moving across the glowing orb in a rare celestial event.

The next transit of Mercury is in November 2032, but the next one visible from OH will be in May 2049.

A special Astro Video Camera and solar filter will be used with a telescope to project the transit onto a 60-inch monitor in the meeting room. The combination of these factors means that the Earth, the sun, and Mercury do not align very often, making transits rare.

You may also be remembering the transit of Venus, a much rarer phenomenon. In contrast, transits of Venus occur in pairs, with more than a century separating each pair.


The inner-most planet in the solar system, Mercury features a small rocky body similar to Earth's moon, and orbits the sun once every 99 days.

Since the planet will be too small to see, a telescope or binoculars is recommended.

The next transit of Mercury will not be visible until 2032. It's expected to take almost five hours for the planet to make its way across, so if you don't get there right at 6:30, you won't miss anything.

Transits are predominant in astronomy which capability of they enable astronomers to detect planets orbiting alien stars. It will be possible to observe it with a telescope or binoculars, but on the condition that your instruments are equipped with sunscreens provided for this objective so as not to damage your sight. There will be solar telescopes set-up for public viewing for enthusiasts of all ages.

A viewing will take place at the John Abbott College Oval from 7:30 a.m.to 1 p.m. An event will be hosted at Carl Zehr Square at Kitchener City Hall from 8 a.m.to 1 p.m.

This can attain the centre at about 3.19pm earlier than ending its wander at 6.04pm.

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