Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

UPDATED: 10. MAY 2016, AT 14:09

The transit of Mercury across the Sun seen also in Slovakia

The transit of Mercury across the Sun on the afternoon of May 9 will be visible also in Slovakia.

Image by NASA and the ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory of an earlier (2006) Mercury transit.(Source: AP/TASR)

This rare phenomenon occurs about 13 times in a century. The next chance will be in November 2019 but it will be only partially visible. The next fully visible transit will take place in 2032.

The spectacle begins at 13:12 on May 9 and ends at 20:40. i.e. after sunset, the TASR newswire wrote. “Observers from western Slovakia are slightly advantaged against those in the east, as in the west the Sun sets down 23 minutes later,” Pavol Rapavý of the Slovak Association of Astronomers told TASR. “As the angular diameter of Mercury is small, we will not be able to see it without a telescope, as it will be 157-times smaller than the seeming diameter of the Sun.”

The safest way to observe the phenomenon is a projection in a darkened room. “With the Sun having a diameter of 25 centimetres, Mercury will be a small black disc with a diameter of only 1.6 millimetres,” Rapavý said. “If we want to observe it directly, we put a good-quality filter in front of the telescope objective lens, e.g. the visual foil Astrosolar. The recommended minimal magnification is 50 times.” 

Top stories

Gilden: Take the negative and make a positive from it Photo

The works of New York native, photographer Bruce Gilden, who has worked for five decades in the streets of the biggest cities, are on exhibit in the Kunsthalle (House of Arts) in Bratislava.

Bruce Gilden: Feast of San Gennero, Little Italy, 1984.

The ongoing struggle for a free and democratic Slovakia

The people of Slovakia deserve the credit for the remarkable progress that this country has made over the past twenty-five years, US ambassador writes.

Illustrative stock photo

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between November 24 and December 3, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Christmas Markets Bratislava

Robert Fico has lost the electoral magic he once had Plus

But his party can still bounce back if they do the things that make parties resilient.

Robert Fico claims that Smer won the regional elections because it is the party with the most chairs in regional councils.