Mercury's transit over sun on Monday

Mercury's transit over sun on Monday

Mercury's transit over sun on Monday

Star-gazers and amateur astronomers can witness a celestial rarity on Monday (May 9) afternoon, when the planet Mercury would transit over the disc of the sun.

The event would be visible for more than an hour from most of the places in India after 10 years, as the last Mercury transit that took place in November 2006, was seen only from a part of the Northeast.

From the earth, the planet would be seen as a small black dot travelling from one limb of the solar disc to the other. This happens when the sun, the planet Mercury and the Earth are lined up in one plane, said an official of the science ministry.

In Delhi, the event can be seen for a duration of about 2.2 hours as it will start at 4:41 pm and the sunset will take place at 7:01 pm whereas in Bengaluru, it would start at the same time, but the duration would be little less (1.56 hours) as the sun would set in the Garden City on 6.37 pm. In Mysuru, the duration would be 1.59 hours.

The next transit of Mercury will take place on November 11, 2019 but that would not be seen from India as it would begin after the Indian sunset time.

The next transit of Mercury visible from India would come on November 13, 2032.

Between 17th and 19th centuries, astronomers travelled all over the world to observe transits of Mercury.

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