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Sat 9 Apr 2016 12:31 AM

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UAE to witness solar transit of planet Mercury next month

Space watchers in the UAE will be able to witness event on May 9; the first for nearly 10 years

UAE to witness solar transit of planet Mercury next month

Space watchers in the UAE will be able to witness the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun next month.

The previous transit took place in November 2006. After next month, the next two Mercury transits will take place on November 11 2019 and November 13 2032, news agency WAM reported.

May and November transits of Mercury are viewed from opposite sides of the Earth's orbit - the planet is seen descending (moving north to south) during May and ascending (moving south to north) during November.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, researcher in astronomy, meteorology and general supervisor, Sharjah Planetarium, said in comments published by WAM that the transit will be seen at 3.12pm local time on May 9.

He said that the safest way to observe the transit of Mercury is through a telescope or binoculars to protect the eyes.

Because Mercury is seen against the sun, a transit can be viewed from anywhere on the Earth where the sun is above the horizon at the time of the event.

The 2016 transit can be seen in full from West Asia in the evening, West Africa and the Atlantic Ocean in the midday, and from Americas in the morning.

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Stephen Wardle 4 years ago

Never look at the sun through a telescope or binoculars. Your eyes will be damaged.