On the 11 November, 2019 stargazers around the world will get the chance to observe a rare transit of Mercury. The innermost of the rocky planets will cross the Sun’s disc for a period of around five and a half hours. The event will be visible across most of the globe with the exception of Oceania and large areas of Asia. Observers in North America, South America, Africa and Europe will be able to witness the majority of the transit.
Eastern parts of Central North America, the whole of South America and a small section of far western Africa will be able witness the whole event from start to finish.
How rare is a transit of Mercury?
With only approximately 13 transits of Mercury each century, these are relatively rare events. The last transit of Mercury occurred in 2016. Only two planets in the solar system can transit the Sun as viewed from Earth. These two planets are Mercury and Venus; both having orbits inside the Earth’s. The next transit of Mercury isn’t until November 2032 so for many this is an opportunity not to be missed!
Transits of Venus (the larger and closer of the two planets) are even rarer occurring in pairs usually more then a century in time between the pairs. The last pair being 2004 and 2012.
Mercury Transit 2019 Timings in UTC
Transit timings from your location
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