Nepal to witness Mercury transit today

Kathmandu, May 8

Nepal will witness the transit of Mercury tomorrow if the weather remains clear during the afternoon.

Suresh Bhattarai, chairperson of Nepal Astronomical Society, said the transit will start from 4:55 pm and will be visible until the sunset. The mid-point of the transit, when Mercury appears directly in the middle of the Sun will occur at 6:40 pm.

During the transit, Mercury will be seen as a small black dot moving across the sun.

“Nepal will witness only half of this rare celestial event while people from South America and North America will be able to witness the complete event depending on their location. Looking at the sun directly may harm your eyes and damage your vision permanently,” he said.

In order to provide an opportunity for students in different parts of the country, NMS has distributed solar glasses to schools and colleges. In addition, NMS is organising an observation programme at View Tower in Batase Danda, Goldhunga, Kathmandu in association Eureka High School, Nepaltar.

This rare astronomical phenomenon occurs only 13 or 14 times in a century, that too, in May and November.

Mercury and the earth will be lined up in one plane. The last transit of Mercury occurred on November 6, 2006.

The interval between one November transit and next November transit may be 7, 13 or 33 years whereas the interval between one May transit and the next May transit may be 13 or 33 years.