Mercury crosses the sun


Champaign, Ill. (WCIA) — Today, people at the Staerkel Planetarium watched a rare space event called the transit of Mercury.

Planetarium astronomers say a Mercury transit happens when the planet passes between earth and the sun. It looks like a tiny black dot moving across the sun and casts a blood orange shadow on it.

It was visible for about five hours.

People from the planetarium also say the transit would have been visible with the eye from Champaign, but cloudy skies and snow blocked the view.

However, they say it was an event too rare to miss. They were able to stream it online thanks to a clear view in Chile.

Astronomers say there are only about 12 Mercury transits per century. The next one visible from our side of the earth will be in 2049.

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