When:Monday, November 11, 4:35 a.m. to 10:04 a.m. PST
Where:Daytime (when the Sun is visible in the sky)
Target Audience:General public
The sky will put on a stellar show on Nov. 11, 2019, as Mercury crosses in front of the Sun. Transits of Mercury only happen about 13 times per century, so it's a rare event you won't want to miss!
With the *proper safety equipment, viewers nearly everywhere on Earth will be able to see a tiny dark spot moving slowly across the disk of the Sun. Because Mercury is so small from our perspective on Earth, you'll need binoculars or a telescope with a certified Sun filter to see it. You might also be able to attend a viewing party at a local museum or astronomy club event.
WARNING! Looking at the Sun directly or through a telescope without proper protection can lead to serious and permanent vision damage. Do not look directly at the Sun without a certified solar filter.
To find out more about the transit, including how to watch, plus get related resources for engaging students, check out the Teachable Moment linked below:
A Teachable Moment in the Sky: The Transit of Mercury
Don't miss the chance to engage students in STEM when Mercury transits the Sun on Monday, Nov. 11! Learn about the science, find out how to watch and explore related lessons.
Use these lessons and activities to engage students in the transit of Mercury and the hunt for planets beyond our solar system:
Exploring Exoplanets with Kepler
Students use math concepts related to transits to discover real-world data about Mercury, Venus and planets outside our solar system.
Time 30 mins - 1 hr
Sun Screen: A 'Pi in the Sky' Math Challenge
When Mercury passes in front of the Sun, how much sunlight is lost on Earth? Students use the mathematical constant pi to find the solution in this illustrated math challenge.
Time < 30 mins
Solar Sleuth: A 'Pi in the Sky' Math Challenge
In this illustrated math problem, students use pi and data from the Kepler space telescope to find the size of a planet outside our solar system.
Time < 30 mins
Can You Spot Mercury?
Play science sleuth and see if you can spot Mercury passing in front of – or transiting – the sun in these images from NASA.
Oh, the Places We Go: 18 Ways NASA Uses Pi
Whether it's sending spacecraft to other planets, driving rovers on Mars, finding out what planets are made of or how deep alien oceans are, pi takes us far at NASA. Find out how pi helps us explore space.
- NASA near-real-time transit images
- Video: What’s Up – November 2019
- 2019 Mercury Transit Map
- Night Sky Network Events
- NASA Museum Alliance Resources
- Exoplanet Exploration Website
- Interactive: 5 Ways to Find a Planet
- Interactive: Eyes on Exoplanets
- Posters: Exoplanet Travel Bureau
- Video: What’s in an Exoplanet Name?
- Video: The Search for Another Earth
- Kepler Mission Website
- Kepler Education Activities
Check out these related resources for kids from NASA’s Space Place: