BY CAROLINE DELUCE
Most people believe that astronomy and stargazing are solely night time activities, but on May 9th one of the rarest astronomical events is happening during the day. Between the hours of 7am-3pm, the planet Mercury will be seen crossing the sun’s surface. This kind of planetary event is called a transit, which is a special kind of eclipse that involves a planet instead of the moon. On Earth, the only two planets we can see in transit are Mercury and Venus, since the rest of the planets are a further distance from the sun than us. Compared to the sun, Mercury is so small that it will only appear as the size of a pin drop on the sun’s surface. To view the transit, you need specialized equipment in order to protect your eyes from the sun. Looking at the sun with the naked eye or through an unprotected telescope can cause serious damage to your eyesight.
For more information on transits or if you would like to see the event, come meet Caroline Deluce (a grade 12 student) by Guidance on May 9th.