Warning: Looking directly at the Sun, either during the transit or at any other time, can cause permanent damage to the retina, leading to loss of vision or blindness.

On 9 May 2016 a transit of Mercury will take place, when the planet passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. Transits are rare - this is the first event of its kind since 2006, and the first seen in the UK since 2003 – and after this the next ones are in 2019 and then 2032.

If the weather is clear, then the UK should enjoy a good view of the transit. The whole event runs from 1212 BST to 1942 BST, when Mercury will appear as a slowly moving silhouetted disk against the bright solar surface. Because the planet is so small, it only blocks out about 1/25000th of the light of the Sun.

This means it is impossible to see Mercury, and dangerous to try to observe it, with the unaided eye.

Where will you watch the Mercury transit?

This is where everyone will be watching the Mercury Transit from!

Why not let us know what you'll be up to, by dropping a pin!

To allow the public to experience and observe the transit in safety, the RAS is running a special event in the courtyard of Burlington House. Experts will be on hand to operate telescopes with safe solar filters, and a projection device, to give people the chance to see the transit at first hand. In the event of cloudy weather, we will have a live feed from sites with clear skies elsewhere in the world.

Comments   

Paul G
0 # Paul G 2016-04-27 14:22
Hainault
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Remco Timmermans
+1 # Remco Timmermans 2016-04-29 11:19
A selected group of social media users from Europe, the US and South America have been invited to watch the Mercury transit from the European Southern Observatory site at Paranal in Chile. You can follow their adventure on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube via hashtag #MeetESO
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Fran Tortosa
0 # Fran Tortosa 2016-05-03 12:10
You can also follow their observations via App: AppStore link: https://appsto.re/es/9Pjacb.i
Play Store link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ideorum.mercurytransit
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John Axtell
+1 # John Axtell 2016-04-29 16:42
Woking Area U3A Astronomy Group are holding an observing event for local senior citizens at ParkView Community Centre, Woking, from 12.00 to 15.00 hrs
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Chris Holt
0 # Chris Holt 2016-05-02 21:49
Join members of Abingdon Astronomical Society as they use specialist telescopes to view the transit of Mercury from the field adjacent to the Abingdon United football ground in Northcourt Road, Abingdon. Event times: 12:00 to 19:30 BST. Charge:free
In the event of bad weather this event will be cancelled so please check our website http://www.abingdonastro.org.uk/aas_blog/ to see if it's still going ahead.
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Stephane FERIER
+1 # Stephane FERIER 2016-05-08 14:50
8) Hope to be as lucky tomorrow as today ... Sky here in Belgium is perfect ...took some pictures of the Sun, and could see 2542 very clear, and also 2543, with my Nexstar5SE / Eos40D. Wish you all the best for the transit!!

St├ęphane.
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Deconinck Michel
+3 # Deconinck Michel 2016-05-08 15:32
Here south France we have planned a public observation with a local school and families. The weather is not cooperating but we are ready to show the transit via SDO and other webcam. I wish all animators the best weather for the event!
Michel
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Artimon
0 # Artimon 2016-05-08 18:37
Wish you all the best!
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andy Ellison
0 # andy Ellison 2016-05-09 11:18
My A-level students will be helping me set up telescopes to show the transit to the rest of the school, Giles Academy near Boston, Lincs.
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Mario De Leo
0 # Mario De Leo 2016-05-09 13:19
The University of California, Riverside will start telescope observations at 8:30 AM PDT. We will also have Prof. Stephen Kane (SFSU) give a public talk on detecting extrasolar planets through transits at 6PM.
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