Main astronomical event 2016 - make sure you won't miss it! 4/16/2016 •

Main astronomical event 2016 - make sure you won't miss it!

On May 9, 2016, people of Earth will have a wonderful chance to observe a rare celestial phenomenon – transit of planet Mercury across the Sun.

For obvious reasons we are able to observe transits of inner planets only, i.e. orbiting between the Earth and the Sun. As you know, there are only two such planets – Mercury and Venus.

A transit happens when one of these planets passes right in-between the Earth and the Sun so we can see it as a small dark spot on the star’s surface. The transit of Mercury happens about 13-14 times a century which is more seldom than the solar eclipse by the Moon. As to the transit of Venus, it occurs even rarer – twice a century. The last one was registered in 2012, and the next will be only in 2117. Such difference can be explained by the fact that Mercury's orbit is shorter and it rotates faster than Venus.

If you want to contemplate this amazing event, please bear in mind that it will be nearly impossible to do it with the naked eye since the spot on the Sun’s face will be too small. Besides, you may do harm to your eyes by exposing them to the sun rays.

Learn more with QuizzClub:

Have you ever observed any astronomical event? You are welcome to share your experience in the comments!


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