Millikin University to offer view of rare transit of Mercury
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[May 07, 2016]
- On Monday, May 9, 2016, Millikin University will present a viewing
of the transit of Mercury across the Sun. Transits of Mercury, which
can be thought of as a very partial eclipse of the Sun, are fairly
rare, with the next one visible in the United States taking place in
2019. The viewing will be streamed on
Universityís YouTube Channel. The broadcast will be held from
the Requarth Observatory at Leighty-Tabor Science Center on
The transit will begin at 7:13 a.m. and end at 2:42 p.m.
The transit or passage of a planet across the face of the Sun is a
relatively rare occurrence. As seen from Earth, only transits of
Mercury and Venus are possible. There are approximately 13 transits
of Mercury each century. In comparison, transits of Venus occur in
pairs with more than a century separating each pair.
Housed on the fifth floor of the Leighty-Tabor Science Center, the
Requarth Observatory was built along with the rest of the Leighty-Tabor
Science Center in 2000. All three 300 lb. support sections that hold
the 20" (.5 meter) telescope were carried up five flights of stairs
by hand. Faculty and students are continually updating the
observatory to meet their scientific needs.
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In addition to the main telescope, the Leighty-Tabor Science Center also
features an observation deck on the fifth floor that surrounds the base of the
dome. This observation deck provides a platform to set up the smaller 8"
telescopes that are commonly used in introductory astronomy courses.
[Millikin University Media Relations]