Mercury's Transit: it sounds like a '90s grunge band. But instead of using those instruments, physicist Andrew Ochadlick plans to use this instrument to see an out-of-this-world event he won't see again until he's 100 years old.
“Mercury does come between us and the sun about three or four times a year but we don’t always get the transit. Sometimes, Mercury will be above the sun and just misses crossing the face of the sun. And other times, it will be below the sun,”said Ochadlick.
Starting at 7:35 a.m. on Veteran's Day morning, Mercury will pass through the Goldilocks Zone, not too low, but just right.
“It blocks a little teeny weeny bit of the sunlight,” said Ochadlick.
For a total of five and a half hours, the rocky planet will appear as a small, circular disc moving across the bright sun. Seeing it safely is key.
The telescope needs a pair of sunglasses too. So we use a solar filter. By applying the solar filter, we can remove the suns dangerous light, and protect the viewers eyes.
Unfortunately, there's no magic filter for a lousy weather forecast. Ochadlick hopes Mother Nature and the transit are on the same wavelength, but will scope out drier land need be.