Hawaii Has a Front Row Seat for the Mercury Transit - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Has a Front Row Seat for the Mercury Transit

by Stephen Florino

(KHNL) - Hawaii will have front row seats for a rare celestial event called, The Mercury Transit.

The planet, Mercury will pass in front of the Sun for five hours tomorrow, starting between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m., Hawaii time.

Other parts of the world will only see parts of the transit but because of Hawaii's location, all Hawaiian Islands will experience five hours.

Gary Fujihara of the UH Institute For Astronomy in Hilo says, "People have experienced that when the Sun goes away for a short period of time and goes back. Well, transits are very similar in that a solar system body comes in between the Earth and the Sun. However, because Mercury is so much farther away than the Moon, it appears as a small little dot, against the disc of the Sun."

On average, the transit happens 12 times every century. However, because the transit's so small, the average eye won't be able to see it.

But astronomers on Mauna Kea and Haleakala are using telescopes and broadcasting it live on the internet.

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