NASA to Provide Coverage of May 9 Mercury Transit of the Sun
Agency scientists will be available at the Goddard viewing event for live media interviews from 6 to 11:30 a.m. EDT. To attend, media must contact Michelle Handleman at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an interview with a NASA scientist at the event, contact Claire Saravia, email@example.com.
Mercury passes between Earth and the sun only about 13 times a century, its last trek taking place in 2006. Due to its diminutive size, viewing this event safely requires a telescope or high-powered binoculars fitted with solar filters made of specially-coated glass or Mylar.
NASA is offering several avenues for the public to view the event without specialized and costly equipment, including images on NASA.gov, a one-hour NASA Television special, and social media coverage.
Mercury will appear as a small black dot as it crosses the edge of the sun and into view at 7:12 a.m. The planet will make a leisurely journey across the face of the sun, reaching mid-point at approximately 10:47 a.m., and exiting the golden disk at 2:42 p.m. The entire 7.5-hour path across the sun will be visible across the Eastern United States – with magnification and proper solar filters – while those in the West can observe the transit in progress after sunrise.
- Jim Green, planetary science director at NASA Headquarters in Washington
- Lika Guhathakurta, heliophysics program scientist at NASA Headquarters
- Nicky Fox, project scientist for the Solar Probe Plus mission at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland
- Doug Hudgins, Exoplanet Exploration Program scientist at NASA Headquarters
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1077
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.