It’s a rare sight on a planetary scale.
Mercury is making a special journey around the sun on Monday. It’s a rare astronomical phenomenon which only happens about 13 times per century.
“What’s particularly interesting about it is that it’s one of these unique moments that you actually get to have a sense of the scale of the solar system,” said Physics and Astronomy Associate Professor Jan Cami, who also serves as the coordinator of the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory. “You very rarely see how small planets are compared to the sun.”
The planet will appear as a tiny black circle, smaller but darker than many sunspots, slowly traversing the sun.
Mercury will not make another similar transit until 2019 and then 2032.
The event is dangerous to view with the naked eye or binoculars because it can cause damage to your retinas. Astronomy groups, like those at Western’s Cronyn Observatory, are offering the chance view it through filtered telescopes.
Mercury will finish passing over the sun by around 2:45p.m. Monday afternoon.
Residents who miss it are invited to visit the Cronyn Observatory to check out photos and other exhibits.