Mercury makes rare move across the sun Monday

The Weather Authority
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In this scene, which was acquired by the MESSENGER spacecraft looking from the shadows toward the sunlit side of the planet Mercury, a 120-km (75 mi.) impact crater stands out near the center. (Image: NASA.gov)
In this scene, which was acquired by the MESSENGER spacecraft looking from the shadows toward the sunlit side of the planet Mercury, a 120-km (75 mi.) impact crater stands out near the center. (Image: NASA.gov)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mercury makes a relatively rare move across the sun Monday.

Visible just after 7 a.m. on the east coast, the smallest planet will appear as a tiny black dot on the face of the sun, and the transit will last for about 7½ hours. The last time it happened was 2006. It will happen again three years from now, but then not until 2032. NASA says the event occurs only about 13 times a century.

The entirety of Mercury’s journey will be viewable to the eastern U.S. and Canada, as well as most of western Europe and South America.

To catch a glimpse of the solar-planetary ballet, viewers will need binoculars or telescopes with protective solar filters. Mercury’s journey can also be seen on NASA’s website , where it will be livestreamed.

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