India may witness Mercury transit across the sun on May 9

India may witness Mercury transit across the sun on May 9

The event can be seen from 4.41 PM onward in all parts of India. If missed, one will be able to witness after 16 years on November 13, 2032.
A rare celestial event that will take place on May 9 could be seen from India for maximum about 2 hours and 45 minutes from 4.41 PM onward.

The planet mercury will pass across the face of the Sun and as a dot on solar disc. This transit of 7 hours and 30 minutes might be visible from most parts of Asia except Japan and south-eastern parts of the continent.
“Depending upon the sunset time of different places in India, the observers located in the extreme east of the country (Port Blair) will see the event for about one hour from the beginning (4.41 PM) while the ones located in the extreme west (Dwarka in Gujarat) will be able to see it for about 2 hours and 45 minutes from 4.41 PM onwards”, said an official of the ministry of earth sciences.

According to the ministry, it would be difficult to see the transit without optical magnification.
“This event can be viewed with the help of binocular or telescope attached with proper solar filter or by making projection of the Sun’s image on a white board by telescope,” the ministry noted..

The ministry explains that such a transit of Mercury over the disc of the Sun happens only when the Sun, the Mercury and the Earth are lined up in one plane. It appears as a dot (black spot) on the solar disc because its angular size is very small compared to that of the Sun as seen from the Earth.

The event can be seen from 4.41 PM onward in all parts of India. In Delhi, for a duration of about 2 hours 20 minutes from 4.41 PM onward, in Kolkata for 1 hour and 26 minutes, in Mumbai for 2 hours 24 minutes and for about 1 hour 45 minutes in Chennai. If missed, one will be able to witness after 16 years on November 13, 2032.
Such astronomical event had last occurred on November 6, 2006 and only end of the event was visible from the extreme north-eastern parts of India. While, the next transit of Mercury will take place on November 11, 2019,the event will not be seen from India as it will begin after the sunset time of all places in the country.

“The transit of Mercury will thus be visible next time from India on November 13, 2032”, said the official.
The phenomena is a relatively rare one which occurs 13 or 14 times in a century. It occurs in the month of May and November. The interval between one November transit and next November transit may be 7, 13 or 33 years whereas the interval between one May transit and the next May transit may be 13 or 33 years.

Besides Asia, the transit of Mercury will also be visible from Europe, Africa, Greenland, South America, North America, Arctic, North Atlantic Ocean and most of the Pacific Ocean.
The entire transit, from beginning to end, will, however, be visible from eastern North America, north South America, the Arctic, Greenland, extreme north-western Africa, western Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean.

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