Highlands & Islands

Scottish astronomy groups rising to Mercury's transit

Mercury Image copyright NASA
Image caption Mercury's last passage across the Sun was observed in 2006

Scottish astronomy groups are preparing for the rare appearance of the planet Mercury crossing the face of the Sun.

The transit of Mercury will take place from about midday on 9 May. The last time this happened was in 2006.

Among the groups planning public events is Ayrshire Astronomical Society, which hopes to hold its free occasion on the Low Green at Ayr.

Highland Astronomical Society plans to make available its observatory at Culloden near Inverness.

Both groups will have equipment to allows people to observe the transit safely and advice people not to look at the Sun through binoculars, or telescopes.

The events will be weather dependent.

The next time the transit occurs will be 2019.

In March last year, some parts of Scotland were treated to good observations of a partial solar eclipse, while others areas were affected by thick cloud.

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