Video encyclopedia

Transit of Mercury


Transit of Mercury


ScienceCasts: The 2016 Transit of Mercury (updated)


NASA's SDO Captures Mercury Transit Time-lapse


2016 Mercury Transit in 4K


Transit of Mercury 2016 explained

A Mercury transit across the Sun takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and a superior planet. It is commonly referred to as a transit of Mercury. During a transit, Mercury appears as a tiny black dot moving across the Sun as the planet obscures a small portion of the solar disk. Because of orbital alignments, transits viewed from Earth occur in May or November. The last four such transits occurred on May 7, 2003; November 8, 2006; May 9, 2016; and November 11, 2019. The next will occur on November 13, 2032. A typical transit lasts several hours. Mercury transits are much more frequent than transits of Venus, with about 13 or 14 per century, primarily because Mercury is closer to the Sun and orbits it more rapidly.
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