Highland Road Park Observatory


Monday, 9 May from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
First one in ten years!
No admission fee. For all ages.

A “transit” is the phenomenon of viewing a smaller body crossing in front of a larger one. On 9 May, for the first time in ten years, the disk of Mercury☿ will traverse the disk of the Sun☉.

A Transit of Mercury☿ is not visible to the unaided eye. At least 30x magnification is needed to easily see the phenomenon. Several telescopes (at least six) will be in operation on HRPO grounds.

HRPO will be open for the duration of the event. The Sun☉ will actually be rising here in Baton Rouge as the transit gets started!

Viewing a Transit across the Sun☉ can be dangerous for one’s eyesight if not performed correctly. The BRAS Forum thread lists a number of safe ways to view the transit (and actually, to view the Sun☉ in general). Do not use sunglasses, do not attempt to use your hand to cover a portion of the Sun☉, and do not attempt to “glance quickly” in the direction of the Sun☉. At any rate, a Transit of Mercury☿ is not visible to the unaided eye.

If a first-timer is in any doubt whether he will be performing the viewing safely, viewing of the Transit should be attempted only with someone with previous solar viewing experience.

Back to top

Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Thursday, January 14, 2016, 03:18 PM.