Mercury has recently made a rare transit, in which the planet passed across the face of the Sun, as seen from Earth. During this transit, Mercury appeared as being a disc with a dark silhouette against the bright surface of our star. In total, there are 14 transits in this century. The one before this one was back in 2016. However, the next event will take place in 2032. The transit began at 12:35 GMT, and that is when the edge of Mercury seemed to touch the curving of the Sun. The transit ended at 18:04 GMT when the edge of the silhouette appeared to leave the disc of the Sun.
Mike Cruise, professor, and president of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society stated that this is a rare event and that we will have to wait about 13 years until it happens again. Transits are the demonstration of how the planets move around the Sun. This event was visible from Canada and the eastern US, and the south-western tip of Greenland, Caribbean, South America, Central America, and West Africa.
In the UK and the Europe, Africa, and Middle East, the Sun sets before the transit ended, so the last part of the event could not be seen.
In New Zealand, Canada, and US, the transit was still happening when the Sun rose. The observers in the southern and south-eastern Asia, Australia and eastern Asia were not able to see the incredible event.
Mercury is still the smallest planet in the Solar System. It completes an orbit around the Sun every 88 days, and it passes between the Sun and the Earth every 116 days.
Such transit can only take place when the Sun, the Earth, and Mercury are exactly in line in three dimensions.