A Rare Celestial Crossing: Mercury Will Transit the Sun on May 9

Date: May 04, 2016


On 9 May there will be a rare transit of Mercury, when the smallest planet in our solar system will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun. The last time this happened was in 2006, and the next two occasions will be in 2019 and 2032.


The rare pass will be visible either partially or in full throughout most of the world. The event will not be visible in Japan and other parts of eastern Asia; Oceania and the nearby island nations; or Antarctica, according to a statement from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). However, viewers in those areas can watch the event online.

Because Mercury and Venus are the only solar system planets that lie between the Earth and the sun, they are the only planets that transit the star as seen from Earth.