Transit of Mercury Viewing
Monday, November 11, 10 am–1 pm
On the Quadrangle Green
The Springfield Museums announce a rare astronomy event. Join the Springfield Stars Club and Mike Kerr, Curator of Astronomy at the Springfield Museums, to view this infrequent astronomical event! The Transit of Mercury happens only about a dozen times each century, when the sun, the planet Mercury, and the Earth all align in a such a way that Mercury appears to gradually cross in front of the sun. When viewed through a telescope the small silhouette of Mercury can be seen as a tiny black dot during the transit.
“Depending on where they live, most of the world will have an opportunity to see at least part of this event in progress at sunrise or sunset,” said Kerr. “Much of Asia won’t be able to see it at all. But here in the eastern United States we will be fortunate enough to see the entire transit, start to finish, provided we have clear weather.”
Members of the Springfield Stars Club will be at the Museums with their safely filtered telescopes to help visitors view this event. Because Mercury is so far away, Kerr said, viewers need a telescope to see it; and the telescope has to be properly fitted with special filters in order to safely view a transit event like this. “So, we’re doubly fortunate that the Springfield STARS Club will be joining us here that day with their portable filtered telescopes, specifically for the benefit of our guests,” Kerr said.
Visitors to the Museums will be able to look through the telescopes, speak with knowledgeable and enthusiastic club members, and enjoy what’s going to be a pretty special day. Ker is hopeful people will visit and witness this event. He said: “There won’t be another transit of Mercury until the year 2032!
Free and open to the public!
Note: This event will only take place if skies are clear. Please check our Facebook event to confirm that the viewing will take place.