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Bringing Mercury Transit to Irish public

12 Nov 2019

Astrophysicists from Trinity today brought the Mercury Transit to the Irish public as our solar system’s smallest planet moved across the face of the Sun for the last time until 2032.

Based by the Campanile in Trinity’s Front Square, the astrophysicists warmly welcomed anyone and everyone with an interest in the cosmos. They assisted hundreds of people, young and old, in viewing the Transit through a high-power telescope, while Mercury’s progress was also screened live on a large-screen TV featuring real-time observations as seen from other locations around the globe.

Hundreds of people attended the event in Trinity’s Front Square.

Mercury has a diameter of just 4,879 km, while the Sun is an enormous 1.4 million km across. But for a few hours earlier today, Mercury passed between the Earth and the Sun, giving us the opportunity to see its transit across the bright surface of our closest star.

There are only about 13 Mercury transits visible from Earth every century and it will be another 13 years before we get another chance to observe one in 2032.