Mercury transit: NASA captures rare celestial event as planet crosses vast face of Sun – Watch!
Mercury will not make another transit until 2019 and then 2032.
New Delhi: Space enthusiasts across the globe witnessed Mercury as a black dot on the solar disc as the planet traversed the face of the Sun on Monday, may 9, 2016.
The rare astronomical event known as the Mercury transit occurs only about 13 times a century.
The event, which lasted for seven and half hours, was the third such pass of 14 this century. Mercury will not make another transit until 2019 and then 2032.
While the event is dangerous to view with the naked eye or binoculars, amateur star-gazers were warned ahead of time to view it through filtered telescopes as looking directly at the sun could have caused permanent eye damage.
However, live views from space and ground telescopes were also available online.
The US space agency NASA has released a stunning video of Mercury passing between the Earth and Sun Monday.
— NASA (@NASA) May 9, 2016
Monday’s Mercury transit began just after 7 a.m. ET and ended shortly before 3 p.m. ET.
According to NASA, transits provide a great opportunity to study the way planets and stars move in space - information that has been used throughout the ages to better understand the solar system and which still helps scientists today calibrate their instruments.