Transit of Mercury 2016
On Monday 9th May, we will be running a public observing event at Great Notley Country Park for the Transit of Mercury. This is a relatively rare event, where the planet Mercury will pass directly between us and the Sun and will be visible as a small disk crossing the face of the Sun. The next transit will occur in 2019 and then not until 2032. This transit will be particularly favourable for viewing in the UK, beginning at 12.12pm BST and running through until 19.40.
The event will only be visible using a specially filtered telescope. Mercury is too small to be seen with the naked eye, so solar eclipse glasses will not reveal anything. DO NOT attempt to view the event using an unfiltered telescope or binoculars – permanent eye damage will result.
We will be in the park from around midday and, weather permitting, we will have members on site for the whole duration. We will have specialist solar telescopes set up and you will be able to see the transit, plus any visible sunspots and prominences.
Feel free to pop along for a look at any point throughout the day. We will, as usual, be happy to answer questions on telescopes and astronomy. Please keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest updates. If it is raining all day the event will be cancelled. If showers are forecast, we may alter the our timings accordingly. If cloudy, we will likely still be on site in the hope of it breaking up enough to view the Sun.