What is a transit? No, it’s not a mode of transportation. A transit occurs when a planet passes between the earth and the sun so that the planet appears as a black spot on the sun’s disc. The first planet in our solar system, Mercury, transits the sun on May 9, 2016. Join me at the Creation Museum to see it for yourself!
Since Earth is the third planet from our sun, we can only observe transits of the two planets between us and the sun—Mercury and Venus. These transits are fairly rare. Mercury transits happen only 13 or 14 times a century while Venus transits are even more infrequent, occurring only twice every hundred years. The last Mercury transit was in November 2006, and the next one won’t be until November 2019. After the 2019 pass, there will be a long gap with no transits until November 2032, so you don’t want to miss this one in May 2016!
On the day of the transit, I will set up my solar-filtered telescope on the Creation Museum terrace so interested guests can step up for a peek of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The museum is in a great spot to observe the entire pass, and it will be underway by the time the museum opens until after 2:30 p.m. Feel free to stop by several times to view Mercury’s progress across the sun. This event is totally free and weather dependent. Pray for a clear day! I hope to see you there.