Mercury Transit: what is it and how to see it?

From 13:35 hours and until 19:00 hours in the afternoon you can enjoy one of the most anticipated astronomical phenomena: the ‘Mercury Transit’.

Less than a month ago, from we anticipated the astronomical events that would take place during this fall and, without a doubt, there have been several phenomena that we have been able to appreciate, although there is still one really fascinating.

Until last November 7 we have been able to appreciate the famous rain of stars known as Orionids. Since that date, we have been participants in the observation of seeing the Leonids, which will end later this month.

But what is the great astronomical event that will take place today?

A phenomenon that occurs 13 times per century

This year one of the most anticipated astronomical events is, without a doubt, the so-called ‘Mercury Transit’. What does it consist of? What will happen?

According to the National Geographic Information Center, transit is called the manifestation of the passage of a planet in front of the Sun. In the case of the Earth, only the transits that occur from Mercury and Venus can be seen. Specifically, the transit of Mercury occurs 13 times per century, and that of Venus 13 per millennium.

What is the reason for this phenomenon? It takes place when the Sun, the planet and the Earth are fully aligned, although it is usually a strange event given the inclination of the orbits.

Therefore, this great event will take place today, November 11, and will be visible in its entirety in South America and Central America, in the Atlantic, in eastern North America and in the western part of Africa. In the case of Spain, only 100 percent will be visible in the Canary Islands, while in the rest of the country, the Sun will set during the phenomenon and therefore we will not be able to see it completely.

The next one will be in 2032

What time can we see it? From 1:35 p.m. until approximately 7 p.m. in the afternoon with the sun setting. The next ‘Mercury Transit’ will not happen again until 2032, will you miss it?

According to the Geographic Information Center, if we want to see this phenomenon we should not observe directly the sun, or with homemade tools such as negative ones, or with a telescope. They warn that it is always necessary and mandatory to wear glasses for eclipses or sunscreens.

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