If the solar system fascinates you as it rightly should you might want to pay attention. Mercury, which happens to be the smallest planet in our solar system, is going to make a very rare trip between the Sun and the floating sphere we call home on Monday, NASA has confirmed. We’ll be able to watch as it crosses in front of the sun on May 9th.
I know you’re wondering what’s so rare about this trip, well you will be very interested to find out that Mercury makes this trip almost 13 times in an entire century. So this doesn’t happen quite often. It made the last trip back in 2006 and after it makes another on Monday, who knows when Mercury will come so close to the Earth again.
Don’t think you can just stare up at the sky and watch it. NASA cautions that people will have to use high-powered binoculars or a telescope fitted with solar filters made out of a special type of glass or Mylar to be able to view Mercury pass between the Earth and the Sun safely.
Since it’s millions of miles away the planet will only look like a black dot against the sun. NASA says that it will be visible from Earth shortly after 7 am ET. The trip will last 7.5 hours and during all that time it will be visible across the Eastern United States while those who are in the West can watch the transit in progress after sunrise.
If you don’t have the equipment or generally don’t like to go out of the house, you can watch the trip on NASA’s live stream on Facebook from 10:30 to 11:30 am ET on Monday, May 9th.