A rather rare event will be happening on Monday May 9 — Mercury will appear to move across the face of the Sun. For us in Tucson, the transit will already be underway when the Sun rises at 5:32 am. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) will have several Solar Telescopes set up at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park starting about 7:30 am. We’ll be there until at least 10 am, but will hang around as long as there are people interested in viewing the Transit. The Mercury Transit will end at 11:39 am Tucson time.
Mercury Transits are fairly rare, with only 13 or 14 per Century. The last Mercury Transit was November 8, 2006 and the next one will be November 11, 2019. After that, we’ll have to wait until 2032 for the next one. Mercury Transits only happen within a few days of May 8 or November 10 of any given year. The reason they don’t happen every year is because Mercury’s orbit is inclined 7 degrees to Earth’s Orbit, so most of the time, Mercury transits just above or below the Sun from our perspective.
Join TAAA at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park on Monday May 9th to view this rare event.