Transit of Mercury 2016: Full Coverage of the May 9 Event

Mercury will cross the sun's face next Monday (May 9) in a rare "transit" that will be visible from most places on Earth, weather permitting. Viewing Guide: Mercury Transit of the Sun on May 9: How to See It and What to Expect  / Live Webcast

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Such transits of Mercury occur just once every eight years on average; the last one happened in 2006, and the next one won't come until 2019. (Venus is the only other planet in our solar system that transits from our perspective, as it and Mercury are the only two planets closer to the sun than Earth. Venus last crossed the sun's face in 2012 and won't do so again until 2117.) 

Visibility range: Observers in most of the world will be able to see the May 9 event. Only people in East Asia, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand will be completely shut out — and even they can still watch online, as several different webcasts will cover the transit. The Mercury Transit of 2016: Visibility Maps and Charts

Read all about the coming transit of Mercury below. And remember: NEVER look directly at the sun without proper protection. Serious and permanent eye damage can result.

Video, Infographics and Multimedia

Mercury’s 2016 Transit of the Sun: A Rare Sight | Video

Mercury Transit of 2016: A Rare Celestial Sight Explained

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CAUTION! - How to SAFELY Observe the Sun | Video

Make a Safe Sun Projector with Binoculars | Video

How to Safely Observe the Sun (Infographic)

How to Safely Photograph the Sun (A Photo Guide)

News Coverage

Monday, May 9

Mercury Transit Timeline: The Stages of Today's Rare Celestial Sight
Today's Mercury transit will last nearly 7.5 hours. See the major stages of the celestial event here.

Eyes On Mercury Transit - On Earth and In Space 
Get a satellite's-eye view of what the Mercury transit of May 9, 2016 will look like. 

Sunday, May 8

The Mercury Transit: How to See the Rare Event Online on Monday
If bad weather spoils your view of the Mercury transit of 2016, don't fret. You have many ways to watch it live online. See how in our full webcast guide here.

Tiny Mercury Will Be Revealed During May 9 Transit
Patricia Totten Espenak, a veteran eclipse chaser and author, gives us a glimpse at what seeing a transit of Mercury is like for skywatchers and astronomers alike. 

Saturday, May 9

The Mercury Transit of the Sun on Monday is a Science Smorgasbord
The transit of Mercury is more than just a shadow on the sun. See the big science packed in the tiny planet's trip across the face of the sun.

Mercury Transit: The History and Science of This Rare Celestial Event
Take a trip back in time to learn the history of Mercury transit observations in our special column's skywatching expert Joe Rao. 

NASA Satellites to Beam Back Images of Rare Mercury Transit in Real-Time
Astronomers and skywatchers on Earth aren't the only ones to watch the transit of Mercury across the face of the sun on May 9. See how NASA satellites will track the rare celestial event.

Friday, May 7

Mercury Transit of the Sun: Why Is It So Rare?'s Mike Wall takes a look at just why transits of Mercury only occur 13 times per century.

Mercury Transit on Monday: The Gear You Need to Watch It Safely
Eclipse glasses aren't enough to see the Mercury Transit of 2016. See what safety gear you need to properly observe the Mercury transit of May 9.

Mercury Transit of 2016: A Rare Celestial Sight Explained
Here's a brief explainer of Mercury transit of the sun on May 9, 2016.

The Mercury Transit of 2016: Visibility Maps and Charts
Skywatchers across most of the Earth have a chance to see the Mercury transit of 2016. Here's a look at the visibility maps and timing of the event.

Mercury's Global Topography Model Revealed In New Animation
Wow! Mercury is an awesome planet. Check out these new maps of Mercury made from data collected by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.

Wednesday, May 4

Mercury Transit of the Sun on May 9: How to See It and What to Expect
Starry Night Software's own Geoff Gaherty gives us an idea of how to see the Mercury transit of 2016, and what to expect.

Tuesday, May 3

Mercury Transit of the Sun on May 9: How to See It and What to Expect
On Monday (May 9), you will have an opportunity to witness one of the rarest astronomical events: a transit of Mercury across the face of the sun. Here's what to expect.

Transit of Mercury 2016: NASA Video Explains It All
While scientists are used to seeing sunspots and solar flares crossing the sun's surface, a different kind of spot will pass through on Monday: the dark shadow of Mercury, which will travel between the sun and Earth that morning. A new video from NASA sets out what you need to know about the rare celestial event.

Mercury and Mars Star in Rare Celestial Sights This May
This month, look skyward to see Mercury transit across the disc of the sun and witness Mars make its closest approach to Earth since 2005.

Monday, May 2

A Rare Celestial Crossing: Mercury Will Transit the Sun on May 9 
Observe a rare celestial treat when Mercury transits across the face of the sun on Monday, May 9. Check here to find out if this celestial event will be visible in your area, and how to see it online.

The Best Time to See Mercury in 2016 Is Now 
For the next two weeks, we will have our best view of Mercury for 2016. For observers in the Northern Hemisphere, Mercury is at its best in April and May in the evening sky, and October and November in the morning sky.

Are You Ready for the Transit of Mercury? Rare Event Occurs in May 
Start preparing now for one of the major astronomical events of 2016: On May 9, Mercury will pass across the face of the sun.

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