Hyderabad: In a rare astronomical spectacle event, the planet Mercury crossed between the Earth and the Sun on Monday, November 11, 2019, at 8:52 pm Indian Standard Time (IST). The astronomical phenomena called ‘Transit of Mercury’ was witnessed by the world on yesterday night. However, this transit was not visible from India.
Official report from Planetary Society, India said, “The transit journey of five hours occurred after sunset in India. Hence Mercury’s move across sun was not observable from India. However, places in India where Sun sets after 6.05 pm was able to experience the first minute of Mercury Transit journey.”
The last time Mercury transit occurred was on May 9, 2019, and the event was observable from India. The next event will occur on November 13, 2023. This is a rare astronomical spectacle.
That's all, folks! Mercury has left the disk of the Sun, completing the transit. The next Mercury transit is in 2032 — so in the meantime, you can read up on @NASAUniverse's TESS mission, which uses transits in other star systems to look for exoplanets! https://t.co/2NlnHKzBFn pic.twitter.com/zRLdYnHiaz
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) November 11, 2019
What is Transit of Mercury?
Transit of Mercury occurs when the planet is between the Earth and Sun and is crossing through the Earth’s orbital plane. At this time, Mercury can be seen as a small black disk slowly moving in front of the Sun.
Only Venus and Mercury transits possible
In the solar system, Mercury and Venus are the only two planets that can produce a transit observable from Earth. This is because the orbits of Mercury and Venus during their revolution around the Sun lie inside Earth’s orbit
A rare phenomenon indeed
Transit of Mercury occurs 13 times in 100 years as it travels across the face of the Sun, coming between Earth and Sun, whereas Venus transit occurs once in 105.5 years to 121.5 years.
“Mercury is too small to be seen without magnification. A telescope fitted with a safe solar filter will be required to see the tiny disk of Mercury crawling across the face of the Sun,” said official sources from Planetary Society, India, who added that this transit would not be visible in India.