Astronomy enthusiasts gather in Raleigh as Mercury passes between Earth and Sun

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Astronomy enthusiasts gathered outside the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh to view a spectacular sight: the planet Mercury passing between Earth and the Sun.

The Raleigh Astronomy Club set up telescopes on Bicentennial Plaza so the public could view this rare planetary transit.

Doug Lively, a member of the club explained why this event was so fascinating.

“Its one of our inner planets so we don’t see them like this on a regular basis. This only happens about once every ten to nineteen years and so its special to be able to see that,” he said.

Mercury’s journey took about seven and a half hours and it appeared as a small dot crossing the sun’s face. It was visible to all of North America through filtered binoculars or telescopes.

The last time Mercury’s trek was visible was in 2006. If you missed this exciting astronomical event, it will happen again in November 2019.

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