View the transit of Mercury from the National Air and Space Museum's Public Observatory

Event Date: 
Monday, May 9, 2016
Event Time: 
7:00am - 3:00pm
Mercury transits the Sun in 2003, as seen by the SOHO spacecraft.
Event Description: 

Use the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory's safe solar telescopes to observe Mercury as it crosses the disk of the Sun. Transits of Mercury are relatively rare events; the next one will not be visible until 2019. Mercury is too small to see with unmagnified solar viewers like eclipse glasses, so join us for a safe view of the transit. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be available to discuss the significance of the transit. Telescopes available will include hydrogen-alpha, calcium-K, white-light, and solar Dobsonian with welder's glass filters. All viewings of the transit are weather-dependent.

The transit will begin at approximately 7:12 am EDT, and end at 2:42 pm EDT.  The beginning of the transit may not be visible from the Observatory. Check back here or on Twitter (@SIObservatory) for alternate telescope locations for observing the first few minutes of the transit.

Weather permitting, a live view of the transit will be available on the Observatory's website (

Event Type: 
Telescope Viewing
Open to the General Public?: 
Mercury & Venus
Event Location: 

Public Observatory at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

4th & Independence Ave. SW outside on the Museum's terrace
WashingtonDistrict of Columbia 20560
United States