For those who love watching cosmic events, don’t miss today’s rare event of Mercury transit the sun. This only happens 13 times a century and you’ll have to wait until 2032 for the next one!
Mercury will pass close to the sun and can be seen as a small black dot against the bright sun and it’s unlikely that you’ll see it with the naked eye.
Be wise and heed NASA’s advice: “The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers.
“Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.”
NASA recommends using a telescope with at least 50x magnification with a solar filter to avoid damage to your eyes. If you don’t have a telescope, or the weather’s not cooperating – find a site online to watch live, such as space.com, Slooh.com or youtube.com.
Mitzi Adams, a solar scientist at NASA, said: “Viewing transits and eclipses provide opportunities to engage the public, to encourage one and all to experience the wonders of the universe and to appreciate how precisely science and mathematics can predict celestial events.
“Of course, safely viewing the Sun is one of my favourite things to do.”
Mercury’s transit will start crossing the sun at 7:35 a.m. EST (1235 GMT) and take around 5 hours, 28 minutes, completing its crossing at 1:04 p.m. EST (1804 GMT).
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