Mercury transit 2019: When and where to watch – National Geographic Sky-watchers across much of the Western Hemisphere are gearing up for a rare celestial show on November 11, as the planet Mercury sails across the face of the sun. Known as a transit of Mercury, this is the last time humans will see this daytime sky show until 2032.During a transit, Mercury passes between Earth and the sun, becoming a small, round silhouette against the yellow glow of the solar disk. Safe viewing is paramount at all times—never look directly at the sun without proper protection or you risk damaging your eyes.Not that you’d be able to see much with your naked eyes during a transit; from Earth, the black dot of Mercury will be just 1/160th the width of the solar disk, so you will need relatively high-powered visual aids fitted with solar filters to watch the transit. If you don’t have the right gear, look for public viewing parties held by astronomy clubs, museums, planetariums, and colleges in many countries.
The planet Mercury is named after the messenger of the Roman gods because of its fleeting nature across the sky. Find out the reason behind its incredible speed, if it is indeed the hottest planet in the Solar System, and why the smallest planet in the solar system is slowly shrinking.
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