‘Rare celestial event’: NASA to cover Mercury’s journey past the sun
Space junkies and astronomers are in for a treat next week: NASA will be providing coverage when the planet Mercury passes between Earth and the sun.
NASA said Tuesday in a news release that they will host a one-hour TV special, andprovide social media coverage for the “rare celestial event.”
According to NASA, Mercury passes between Earth and the sun only 13 times a century. Its last journey took place in 2006.
On the morning of May 9, Mercury will appear as a small black dot as it crosses the edge of the sun. The planet will then make a “leisurely journey” before exiting out of sight at 2:42 p.m. ET.
“Due to its diminutive size, viewing this event safely requires a telescope or high-powered binoculars fitted with solar filters made of specially-coated glass or Mylar,” NASA said.
With magnification and proper solar filters, the entire path across the sun will be visible across the Eastern United States, NASA says, while those in the West can watch the journey after sunrise.