Mercury will put on a rare celestial show Monday, parading across the sun in view of most of the world. It won't do so again until 2032. From here on Earth, that means we'll see a little black spot slowly crossing the disc of the Sun.
Mercury transit 2019 will be seen from Middle East, Africa, and Europe at sunset time, while it will be seen from Eastern and Central America at noon and from US and Canada at sunrise, the full duration of transit will be 5 hours and 30 minutes, Dr Marzouk added.
Slated to start at about 6.35 a.m. Observers in eastern Asia, southern and south-eastern Asia, and Australia will not be able to see the transit.
How can you see it?
"Transits are a visible demonstration of how the planets move around the sun, and everyone with access to the right equipment should take a look", Mike Cruise, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said in a statement from England.
During the transit, Mercury will look like a tiny black dot gliding across the Sun's face. Try looking for a viewing party at a museum or planetarium near you. The Virtual Telescope Project will have a viewing on its website. Mercury's last transit was in May of 2016, and the next one is on the morning of Monday, November 11, visible from Santa Barbara. Witnessing a transit is all a matter of timing. For Venus now, we see transits in an interval pattern of 121.5, 8, 105.5, and 8 years.
The Curiosity rover on Mars observed the planet Mercury transiting the Sun in 2014, the first time a planetary transit was seen from a celestial body other than the Earth. But the transit isn't just an awe-inspiring spectacle; it has scientific importance, too.
Today, radar is used to measure the distance between Earth and the Sun with greater precision than transit observations. More recently, one team of scientists used a transit to see whether it would produce a discernible decrease in the amount of sunlight (it did not).
Numerous thousands of exoplanets we've been finding around other stars were discovered when they transited the face of their suns, mostly by the Kepler spacecraft.
Hopefully you'll have an opportunity to watch the transit on Monday. Do not look directly at the Sun without a certified solar filter.