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Visibility of the transit of Mercury (2019)

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The transit of Mercury in front of the Sun. For several hours on November 11, 2019, the planet Mercury will appear like a tiny black disk silhouetted against our star. Contacts are when the edge of Mercury’s disk and that of the Sun seem to touch.
Photo: Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan, based on F. Espenak/EclipseWise.com

IMPORTANT WARNING
Never look at the Sun directly, unless you place a specially designed filter in front of your eyes.
How to safely observe the Sun

On November 11, 2019, Mercury will cross the Sun’s disk in a little less than 5 ½ hours. This transit will beentirely visible in eastern North America, in Latin America, in Antarctica, and in the Atlantic Ocean. In the western regions of Canada and USA and in the Pacific Ocean, the transit will be in progress at sunrise. In Africa, Europe and the Middle-East, the Sun will set before the end of the transit. The transit won’t be visible at all from India, East and Southeast Asia and Australia.

For the second time since 2016, the phenomenon will be visible from beginning to end in Québec. As seen from Montreal, the transit begins shortly after sunrise: Mercury will take a little over 3 minutes to cross the edge of the Sun, from 7:36:02 to 7:37:44 EST (contacts 1 and 2, respectively). The Sun will then be about 7 degrees above the south-eastern horizon. (For locations some distance from Montreal, the actual contact times vary by a few seconds.)

During the hours that follow, we’ll be able to track the progression of the planet’s tiny round silhouette in front of the Sun. Maximum transit occurs at 10:20:13 EST, with the Sun 25 degrees high in the south-southeast: Mercury will then be very close to the centre of the Sun’s disk. The planet will exit the Sun’s face gradually, between 13:02:41 and 13:04:22 EST (contacts 3 and 4, respectively). At the end of the phenomenon, the Sun will be a good 24 degrees above the south-southwest horizon.

Do not miss this transit of Mercury, because the next two (on November 13, 2032 and November 7, 2039) will not be visible at all from North America. The next one that will be visible from beginning to end from Québec will only occur on May 7… 2049!

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