Skip to content

Hit the Roof and see the Mercury Transit!

November 4, 2019
Mercury Transit Credit NASA

On November 11, 2019, Mercury will pass between the earth and the sun in what is called a transit. The last time this happened was May 9, 2016.

The transit will begin at 7:35 AM and end at 1:04 PM. Mercury can be seen through specially filtered telescopes during the passage of the planet that orbits nearest the sun. The entire transit will last about 5½ hours. Though the transit does not take Mercury through the center of the sun’s disc, it will be closest to the center at 10:20 AM known as "greatest transit."

To see Mercury as it crosses the disc of the sun, you need a telescope with a proper solar white light filter and 50-100 power, according to eclipse expert Fred Espenak.

The University of Tennessee Department of Physics and Astronomy will be hosting a public viewing of the transit from 7:30 AM til 1:15 PM on the roof of the Alvin H. Nielsen Physics Building on "The Hill" across from Ayres Hall.

Parking is available in Volunteer Hall Parking Garage on White Avenue. Some handicapped parking is available in front of Nielsen Physics Building.

For more information call: 865-974-9601

Courtesy of Paul Lewis.

Mercury photo credit above right: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Mercury Transit 2019

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.