Watch Mercury Glide Across the Sun in Near Real Time
- Produced by:
- Isabelle Yan
- View full credits
Talk Live with a NASA Scientist During Rare Astronomical Event:
Want to catch a glimpse of Mercury? Don’t look too close, but on November 11, our solar system's smallest planet will appear as a small black dot gliding across the face of the Sun. During this rare astronomical event, called a transit, Mercury’s orbit passes directly between Earth and the Sun, similar to a solar eclipse. These events only occur about 13 times per century! In fact, the next transit won’t take place until 2032.
Chat with a NASA scientist between 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 11to learn more about the safest ways to view Mercury’s journey across the Sun, and how events like this help scientists search for planets orbiting around distant stars.
It’s never safe to look directly at the Sun, whether with the naked eye or with a telescope, but NASA will offer stunning, high-definition views of the Mercury transit in near real time, courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Mercury will begin crossing onto the Sun at around 7:36 a.m. EST before exiting the solar disk at around 1:04 p.m. EST.
1. An amazing phenomenon is happening today that won’t happen for another 13 years — Mercury is passing in front of the Sun! What exactly is going on?
2. NASA uses events like this one to find planets around other stars. How does that work?
3. We’ve always been told not to look directly at the sun. So how can our viewers see today’s event?
4. What do transits and eclipses teach us about our own solar system?
5. Will humans ever get to see the Earth transit across the sun?
6. Where can we learn more about stars and planets?
Interview Location: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD
HD Satellite Coordinates for G17-K17/Upper:
Galaxy 17 Ku-band Xp 17 Slot Upper | 91.0 ° W Longitude | DL 12049.0 MHz | Horizontal Polarity | QPSK/DVB-S | FEC 3/4 | SR 13.235 Mbps | DR 18.2954 MHz | HD 720p | Format MPEG2 | Chroma Level 4:2:0 | Audio Embedded
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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
- Isabelle Yan (NASA/GSFC) [Lead]
- Christina Brooke Mitchell (KBRwyle)
- Courtney A. Lee (ADNET)
- Katie Atkinson (ADNET)
- Michelle Handleman (KBRwyle)
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
SeriesThis visualization can be found in the following series:
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