- This event has passed.
The ISU Planetarium Celebrates the 2016 Transit of Mercury
The planet Mercury will pass directly between the Earth and Sun on the morning of Monday, May 9. This marks the first “transit of Mercury” since 2006. This unique event will repeat itself in 2019. After this, the next transit of Mercury visible from North America is not until 2049.
The Illinois State University Planetarium is offering a special program as a prelude to this rare event. The hour-long presentation is on Saturday, May 7 at 3:30 PM, under ISU Planetarium dome. We’ll explore the history of and reason for transits, discuss how to safely view the transit, and focus on details regarding the May 9th event. The program is free and open to the public.
Then on May 9, the day of the Mercury transit, the Twin Cities Amateur Astronomers and ISU Planetarium are hosting a free public viewing session. The event will begin at 9 AM and run continuously until 1 PM at the Bloomington Parks & Recreation Department’s Tipton Parks north unit, at East College Avenue and Airport Road. TCAA astronomers and ISU Planetarium staff will have special solar telescopes pointed toward Mercury allowing the public to safely view the transit.
The public viewing session will be cancelled in the event of an overcast sky. Phone (309) 438-8756 for more details.