Dr. Thomas Herring, director of the Jack C. Davis Observatory, said that because the solar event is potentially damaging to the eyes, that it is best to view it under the supervision of someone trained in solar astronomy.
Drop by the Washburn Observatory on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus from 6:30 a.m.to noon on Monday, Nov. 11, to get a safe, rare glimpse of Mercury as it crosses the face of the Sun.
"Even in the event of cloudy weather we'll still open and view the internet streaming video", Herring said.
Monday marks the first transit of Mercury since 2016, but if you miss this go-around, the next viewing opportunity won't be until 2032. Mercury only makes this transit about 13 times per century.
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.
A transit can only take place when the Earth, Mercury and the sun are exactly in line in three dimensions.
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Seen against the solar disk, Mercury's disk is so small that a telescope is required to make it visible.
While the next transit of Mercury may be in 2032, Boyd said people living in the US won't have an opportunity to see it again until 2049.
In this composite image provided by NASA, the planet Mercury passes directly between the sun and Earth on May 9, 2016 in a transit which lasted seven-and-a-half-hours. Australia and most of Asia are out of luck. On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, Mercury will make another transit, visible from the eastern US and Canada, and all Central and South America. That's because the orbits of the planets are tipped with respect to each other.
Don't get your hopes up for a Venus transit next - that won't happen until 2117.
We want to remind you that aiming a telescope or binoculars at the Sun is a unsafe operation, requiring special equipment and techniques, and therefore best left to experienced observers.
It's this kind of transit that allows scientists to discover alien worlds.