Mercury to Make Rare Trip Across the Sun

It happens about 13 times per century
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2016 6:10 AM CDT

What one astronomer calls a "rare astronomical phenomenon" will play out on Monday. For more than seven hours beginning at 7:12am ET, Mercury will appear as a tiny black dot passing directly in front of the sun, reports National Geographic. Viewers across much of the globe, including North America, will be able to see at least parts of the transit, though looking directly at the sun is never advised. "One option is to use a telescope or binoculars to project the image onto a white surface," notes a post at You can also watch online here. The phenomenon happens only about 13 times per century. (Here's why Mercury's surface is so dark.)

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