UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus is ready to view the transit of Mercury, Nov. 11

Update: this activity is weather-dependent…

Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 will be a rare and exciting day for those who look to the sky; Mercury will be visibly passing over the sun from around 6:30 a.m. to noon. This transit of the planet will involve seeing the tiny silhouette of Mercury slowly moving across the sun when viewed through an appropriate telescope or binoculars; the sun will not be completely covered as it would for an eclipse.

mercury viewing map

Location map

For those on UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan’s Campus, Assistant Prof. Bill Dirienzo will be ready to help people view the transit of Mercury. He will have a dedicated solar telescope and regular telescopes with solar filters open for public viewing during the whole event. They will be at the top of the stairs outside the entrance to the Brotz Science Building next to the East Parking Lot and the Theatre (note: not at the Observatory pad because it does not have the best viewing angles for this event). See the map on the right for details on where to go for viewing the transit. In case of poor weather, Assistant Prof. Dirienzo will be inside the building with the hopes of trying to look through the windows or taking equipment outside during breaks in precipitation.

It is important to remember the importance of safety when it comes time to view Mercury and the sun. Regular sunglasses are not a safe alternative viewing option. Only use telescopes, binoculars, cameras or other equipment if you have filters designed specifically for viewing the sun that cover the entire aperture that collects light, not just the eyepiece, as the internal equipment can be damaged by heating from the sunlight. Using insufficient or damaged filters will burn your eyes even faster than direct viewing. Improperly filtered telescopes and binoculars are also fire hazards, as they focus sunlight.

For further information, check out these sources:

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/dont-miss-mondays-rare-transit-of-mercury/

https://www.space.com/mercury-transit-2019-why-its-rare.html

https://earthsky.org/?p=316375