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A celestial event is taking place the same day as Remembrance Day.
According to Gary Boyle, also known as “The Backyard Astronomer,” the Mercury transit will occur on the morning of Nov. 11.
Boyle explains that Mercury is the closest planet from the sun and orbits once every 88 days, On occasion, when the geometry is correct, the planet crosses the face of the sun as seen from Earth.
The event will be visible almost everywhere on Earth. Mercury will appear as small, dark spot moving across the sun.
In the Okanagan, given clear skies, we will be able to catch the action as the Sun rises. Mercury will leave the disc at around 10 am.
Boyle says it’s extremely important to view the event safely. Do not look directly at the sun. He adds that eclipse glasses won’t cut it, and you must view the planet through a telescope.
Looking directly at the sun or through a telescope without proper protection can cause serious and permanent vision damage.
Viewers are encouraged to take in the event at a viewing party, which is often organized by local astronomy groups.
The Royal Astronomical Society Okanagan Centre notes that solar filters are necessary on binoculars and telescopes.
The Mercury transit only happens about 13 times per century. The last Mercury transit happened in 2016, and the next one will not take place until Nov. 13, 2032.
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