FORT WAYNE — The University of Saint Francis Schouweiler Planetarium and the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society invite the community to join them throughout the morning and early afternoon on Monday, May 9, to safely view the Transit of Mercury. A Transit of Mercury occurs when the Earth, Mercury and sun align in such a way that over the course of several hours, Mercury can be seen as a tiny dot moving across the disk of the sun.
Due to its size, Mercury can only be viewed during a transit through a specially equipped filtered telescope. The filters eliminate most of the sun’s visible light and heat allowing the sun and Mercury to be safely viewed.
To attempt to see this event without special equipment could result in eye damage and vision loss, so the FWAS and USF will provide four special viewing locations. As the event unfolds throughout the day, viewers can visit the different sites at different times to allow them to observe how the orbital motion of Mercury has carried the planet farther across the face of the sun.
7 – 9 a.m. – Krueger Park, North River Road, East Parking lot area
10 a.m. – 2:33 p.m. (end of transit) – Freimann Square, downtown
10 a.m. – 2:33 p.m. (end of transit) – University of Saint Francis parking lot on south side of Hutzell Athletic Center off Leesburg Road
11 a.m. – 2:33 p.m. (end of transit) – Parks and Recreation Community Center, 233 West Main Street
Note: In order to see the Transit of Mercury, observers will need to be able to see the sun. If it is very overcast, raining, or there is a threat of immediate rain, there will be no viewing. If it is partly cloudy, observers can still attempt to view the event. Any immediate threat of rain will result in closure of the viewing site to protect the observing equipment.