Rare Celestial Event to Occur in Czech Republic

The transition of Mercury will be fully visible from the Czech Republic on May 9, 2016

Get out your protective solar glasses: this coming Monday, May 9 the planet of Mercury will pass in front of the sun—a rare celestial event known as the transit of Mercury that occurs on average thirteen times a century, making it an extraordinary natural phenomenon.

In the Czech Republic, the transition was last observed in May 2003. It typically takes place on or around November 10 or May 10; the November transitions are twice as frequent. The event takes several hours and is visible only from a part of Earth where the sun is just above the horizon.

Vsetínská observatory near Zlín will open its door to the public, as well as other facilities throughout the country. The two celestial bodies are expected to lock on the horizon around half past eight.

Experts caution safety as viewing the event can damage your eyes; a telescope with a special solar filter is suggested for stargazers.

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It is predicted that the next transition will be November 11 2019, and will be visible the first half on the afternoon, before sunset and then again over the Czech horizon on November 13, 2032.

The transit of Mercury is visible in full in Western Europe, Northwest Africa, Eastern North America, Northern South America, Greenland, and the Arctic.

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