Mercury Will Move Across The Sun In November And You Can See It From Canada
This is such a rare event!
Another amazing celestial event is on the horizon for Canadians. Mercury will be visible from Canada in November as it passes between Earth and the sun. However, only six provinces will have the best view to see the planet move across the sun.
Mercury will move across the sun for about five and a half hours. The eastern parts of Canada will have the best visibility for the entire celestial event next month.
On November 11, Mercury will appear as a small dark circle moving across the face of the sun from sunrise to midday. The last time the planet moved across the sun was more than three years ago on May 9, 2016.
This event, a planet making its way across the sun, is also know as "transit" so, on November 11, Mercury will be in transit.
"Among all the events happening in the sky during the next few months, a special show put on by the planet Mercury promises to be the best of them," according to The Weather Network.
People in Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Quebec and eastern Ontario have the best chance of seeing the entirety of Mercury in transit.
In Newfoundland, the transit will be visible from 9:05 AM to 2:34 PM NST. In Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and Labrador, you can see the transit from 8:36 AM to 2:04 PM AST. While in Quebec and eastern Ontario, Mercury will move across the sun from 7:36 AM to 1:04 PM EST.
According to EarthSky, a transit of Mercury will only happen 14 times in the 21st century, from 2001 to 2100.
For Mercury, in particular, transits can happen in either May or November. And you'll have to wait a while to see it happen again, the next transit won't be until November 13, 2032.
"It certainly is rare, however, when you consider that Mercury has swung between Earth and the Sun 14 times since 2016, with no transits," according to The Weather Network.
This is because Mercury's orbit is tilted in a way that means sometimes when it passes between Earth and the sun, it's above or below the sun from our perspective on Earth.
So this is definitely a rare event you'll want to take in.
But if you plan on viewing Mercury in transit you have to be careful. Never look directly at the sun without protecting your eyes!
If you don't know how to properly use a telescope with solar filters and aren't confident about attempting to figure it all out, check in with local science centres, astronomy clubs and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to see if they've set up a viewing day on November 11.
Mercury moving across the sun will be visible from other parts of Canada but it's only in the east where Canadians will be able to see the full transit from start to finish.
"Anywhere west of the eastern shores of Lake Superior will see the eclipse already in progress as the Sun rises at dawn," according to The Weather Network.
Of course, viewing is always dependent on the weather. Clear skies are the most optimal for viewing the entirety of the transit. So be sure to check your local weather forecast to see if you'll be able to take in this rare celestial event.
During the transit, Mercury will also be in retrograde. So be prepared for all that comes with it!