Planet Mercury will be seen as a small black dot crossing the solar disc. A rare celestial event, the transit of Mercury over the disc of the sun can be viewed on Monday afternoon.
It will be visible from all parts of India for varying durations depending on the location, starting around 4:40 pm. Dwarka in Gujarat will experience the longest transit (2 hour 43 minutes) and Port Blair in the east will see it for only 54 minutes. In Shimla and Chandigarh the event can be seen for over 2 hours.
Talking about the Phenomenon, Chandigarh Met Director Surender Paul said, “The transit of Mercury is a phenomenon when the planet Mercury will be seen as a small black dot travelling from one extremity of solar disc to other. From the earth, this phenomenon is seen when the mercury passes between the Sun and the Earth and this happens only when the Sun, the Mercury and the Earth are lined up. The Mercury appears as a dot on the solar disc because its angular size is very small as compared to the Sun as seen from the Earth.”
The last transit of Mercury had occurred on November 2006 and it was visible only from eastern parts of India. The next transit of the Mercury that will be visible from India will occur on November 13, 2032.
Extreme caution is advised while looking at the solar disc. The sun should never be viewed directly or through optical instruments like telescope or binoculars. It is advisable to view the phenomenon as a projection, or through proper solar filters.