Shoot the Messenger

Event Date: 
Monday, May 9, 2016
Event Time: 
7:00am - 3:00pm
Transit of Mercury, Mercury, Transit, Citizen Science, Space, Astronomy
Event Description: 

A Transit of Mercury Challenge

The Cincinnati Observatory is issuing a challenge to all students, adults, and mortals: Take a picture of the Transit of Mercury on May 9, 2016. 

The planet Mercury will cross in front of the Sun from 7:12am-2:42pm EDT and we want you to see and document this rare and beautiful event in our challenge entitled, “SHOOT THE MESSENGER!”

We warn you, this challenge will not be easy.  You’ll need to be safe.  You’ll need to plan ahead.  You’ll need equipment.  You’ll need a camera.  And the big warning – never look at the Sun unless you are 100% sure that you are using the proper protection.  Don’t mess around with the Sun!

Okay, here’s what you have to do:

  • Research details about the Transit of Mercury and safe solar viewing methods.  
  • Design and build your safe solar viewer
  • Test it out ahead of time
  • Take a picture of the Sun and see how it looks.
  • On May 9 take a picture of the disc of the Sun with Mercury on it and "Shoot the Messenger!"
  • Document it over the course of the day
  • Process the pictures and post them on the Cincinnati Observatory's Facebook Page, Tweet them #ShootTheMessenger, or email them to Dean Regas at:


Event Type: 
Citizen Science
Open to the General Public?: 
Event Location: 

Cincinnati Observatory

3489 Observatory Place
CincinnatiOhio 45208
United States