Sky Sight: Transit of Mercury


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The “Transit of Mercury” will happen on Monday, November 11. But, what is it? Well, this simply means that the planet Mercury will move directly in front of the sun and be safely visible using eclipse glasses (non-damaged glasses with no holes/tears/scratches) and, also, through telescopes using solar filters. Mercury will appear as a small black dot when using these tools. It should be noted Mercury will be quite small with just eclipse glasses, solar-filtered telescopes will be a better bet. If you don’t have either of these, do not look up at the sun, as you may damage your eyes.

Here in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio, as long as the clouds do not block out the sun, we have the potential to see the entire transit take place.

The “Transit of Mercury” is a rare occurrence because Mercury’s path is more commonly above or below the face of the Sun and not visible in the same way as it will be on Monday.

The last time Mercury’s path went in front of the sun was on May 9, 2016. However, it won’t happen, again, until November 13, 2032 but, won’t be visible in the Midwest. We actually have to wait until May 7, 2049 for the next one to be visible in Indiana and Ohio.

Use this diagram and the descriptions below it to match our location and viewing times to what will be seen in the sky.

These viewing times are approximate for Fort Wayne:

External Ingress: 7:36 am
Internal Ingress: 7:37 am
Greatest Transit: 10:20 am
Internal Egress: 1:02 pm
External Egress: 1:04 pm

If you do not have a safe way of viewing the transit with eclipse glasses or through a telescope with solar filters, you can view the transit online without any worries of damage to your eyes. The Virtual Telescope Project’s live feed will start at 7:30 am on Monday, November 11.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss