Astronomers to Watch ‘Transit of Mercury’ from KU Lawns Today



Transit of Mercury Diagram
Diagram showing path of Mercury during its Transit across the face of the Sun on 9th May, 2016.

Astronomers from across India would watch a “special celestial event” from the lawns of University of Kashmir on Monday.

The ‘Transit of Mercury’—when planet Mercury would come exactly in between the Sun and the Earth—would start at 4.41 pm (IST) and last for about 08 hours.

Over 300 astronomers, academics and students would watch the event safely from the lawns of University’s Convocation Complex, a KU statement said late Saturday evening.

The event is being held by the University’s Department of Physics in association with the Public Outreach & Education Committee (POEC) of the Astronomical Society of India (ASI), and some other national groups and institutions.

The organizers said Rajya Sabha TV will also be showing these webcasts live.

An organizer said: “Since Mercury is so small, one would need at least a small telescope to see the Transit. If you have a telescope, then the safe way to see it is to project the image of the Sun onto a sheet of paper and look at the image of the Sun on the paper. DO NOT look at the Sun directly or through any optics like lens, binoculars or telescopes—you will risk permanent blindness. Seeing the Sun and the transit of Mercury by projecting its image on a sheet is perfectly safe. If you do not have access to a telescope, we invite you to see the transit through the webcasts online or on Rajya Sabha TV,” he said.

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