La Plume – The Keystone College Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Observatory will be open for the transit of Mercury from 7:15 a.m.– 1:20 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. Several properly filtered telescopes will be available to safely view this event.
A transit is when a planet passes directly between the Earth and sun. Mercury will be a small black dot moving across the face of the sun. Transits are rare and will not be visible locally until 2049.
To safely view the transit of Mercury, individuals should view this event through a telescope with a solar filter in front of the scope. Mercury will not be big enough to see without magnification and solar eclipse glasses will not show the planet and are not safe to use with binoculars or a telescope. Solar eclipse glasses will not allow individuals to see Mercury as it passes in front of the sun and they are not safe to use with a telescope or binoculars.
The Mercury transit will begin at 7:36 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11 with the planet moving onto the face of the sun. The midpoint of the transit is at 10:20 a.m. and it ends as Mercury moves off the sun at 1:04 p.m. The entire event will be visible in the eastern United States.
The Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Astronomical Observatory is located on Route 107, approximately two miles west of Interstate 81, exit 202, and approximately two miles east of Fleetville. For more information, visit www.keystone.edu/observatory.