Over 100 people arrived at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium on Monday 11 November to view the Transit of Mercury through our telescopes, including our world-famous Grubb telescope. With special kit for Solar observing our staff and students enthusiastically greeted the crowds of public visitors and school children in attendance.
With gaps in the cloud, observers witnessed a rare astronomical event as they watched the planet Mercury, looking like a small black dot, move across the Sun. Proceedings got under way shortly after 12.30pm with visibility lasting until the Sun set around 4.30pm. Some visitors were treated to a tour of our Observatory building and watched “Solar Superstorms” in our Planetarium dome whilst the cloud obscured their view.
Transits occur when a planet lies directly between the Earth and the Sun and happen an average of thirteen times a century with the last transit visible from Armagh back in May 2016. If you missed the 2019 event, you only have to wait 13 years, until 2032.