Friday, August 14, 2020
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Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

The planet Mercury danced across the sun this morning and early afternoon in an astronomical event known as a transit.

Transit of Mercury, 9:18 AM EST, from Lutherville, Md. (Voxitatis)

The transit this time lasted from 7:35 AM to 1:04 PM, one of the longest transits of the planet in a while, as it traveled very much across the middle of the sun’s disc, from about an 8:30 position to a 2:30 position.

The next transit of Mercury will occur on November 13, 2032; that one’ll be more difficult to see from the US, as it begins at about 2 AM Eastern Time and reaches its climactic mid-point at 3:54 AM, several hours before sunrise.

The most recent transit before this was on May 9, 2016, a rare three-year interval. A transit of Mercury occurs, on average, about 13 times every 100 years.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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