Sun  ID: 12235

2016 Mercury Transit Timelapse

Around 13 times per century, Mercury passes between Earth and the sun in a rare astronomical event known as a planetary transit. Mercury orbits in a plane that is tilted from Earth’s orbit, moving above or below our line of sight to the sun.

The 2016 Mercury transit occurred on May 9th, between about 7:12 a.m. and 2:42 p.m. EDT.

The images in this video are from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO.

Transits provide a great opportunity to study the way planets and stars move in space– information that has been used throughout the ages to better understand the solar system and which still helps scientists today calibrate their instruments.


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Genna Duberstein (USRA): Lead Producer
Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Data Visualizer
Barbara Thompson (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Sarah Schlieder (NASA/GSFC): Writer
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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SVS >> Mercury
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Sun
SVS >> Transit
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Flares
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Sun

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version