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Lima Astronomical Society holding Mercury Transit viewing

08 November 2019

To get ready for the viewing, be sure to stop by the planetarium to see the main feature playing through November 10 - "The Transit of Mercury featuring 'Solar Quest.'" The show includes a short from the Buhl Planetarium all about the sun. From our perspective, only transits of Mercury and Venus are possible.

Though Mercury speeds around the Sun every 88 days, it has a highly eccentric orbit that takes it as close as 29 million miles (47 million km) and as far away as 43 million miles (70 million km) from the star. The Tulare Astronomical Association is offering a free public viewing of this exceedingly rare transit through a telescope equipped with a solar filter; this special viewing will take place at the Arthur Pursell Observatory located south of Tulare.

According to NASA, Mercury will pass directly between the Sun and Earth, causing a small part of the Sun to be obscured by Mercury's shadow.

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It's additionally the closest planet to the Sun, which arrangement it orbits the essential person some distance more fleet than the total other worlds in our solar system. For observers in the western U.S., the transit will already be underway when the sun rises locally at 6:43 a.m. Simply because it is a very little earth - somewhat even larger than our moon - it will be viewed as a incredibly smaller dot, necessitating the support of filter-geared up binoculars or telescope.

The transits of Mercury transpire in pairs. However, the first few hours of this transit occurs before sunrise in California, so Mercury will not be visible in our area until around 8 AM.

Stargazers across western Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and North America will see a planet pass directly between Earth and Sun in an astronomical alignment known as Mercury transit.

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Ordinarily, Mercury is hard to observe, as it rises and sets close to the sun. There will be solar telescopes set-up for public viewing for enthusiasts of all ages.

- Alternate show: Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The organisation cautions that only a tiny part of the sun will be blocked out and that the event should not be viewed with the naked eye. This is an after-school science team from students grades 3-6.

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Lima Astronomical Society holding Mercury Transit viewing