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Mercury Transit 2019: How a spacecraft fleet will observe the rare event from space



On Monday (November 11), Mercury will wander across the face of the sun and several spaceships will target the rare event.

Spacecraft have taken unbelievable pictures of past mercury transits and this year promises some exciting observations from space. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) will observe the sun during Mercury's approximately 5.5-hour journey. up glimpse.

On Earth, celestial observers in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and even Antarctica may view the event with safe ISO certified sunshade equipment ̵

1; weather dependent. Those in Alaska, the Pacific, and Asia will not notice the event, as the sun is below the horizon when Mercury passes like a travel mistake in front of the star. Fortunately, the teams behind several space missions will have unrestricted views of Mercury transit.

Related to: Mercury Transit 2019: Where and How to See Him on November 11

This image of the last minutes of the Mercury transit was captured on May 9, 2016 by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory with its Atmospheric Imaging Assembly.

[Picture credits: JAXA / NASA / PPARC] [19659010] SDO was developed to study changes in the Sun's activity and its impact on the Earth. Now, in its ninth year in the orbit of our planet, SDO continues to measure the Sun's interior, the magnetic field and the scorching hot outer atmosphere of the star, the so-called Corona . Three scientific experiments aboard SDO follow these tidbits about the sun: the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), the EUV Variability Experiment (EVE), and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI). During his lifetime, SDO has captured more than 350 million images of the Sun almost 24 hours a day, and used them in over 3,000 research projects NASA .

A SDO team will periodically update its website with the latest views of Mercury's Transit Nov. 11, here from about 7 am EST (1200 GMT), about half an hour before Mercury's first contact , are available (when the silhouette of the planet touches the solar disk for the first time).

NASA also operates SOHO, a 12-instrument spaceship built in collaboration with the European Space Agency. SOHO has been in space for more than two decades as SDO. It regularly observes the sun and produces several time lapse shots of the sun in gif-movie format. Like SDO, they are regularly updated on the NASA website. Mercury is likely to be present in these views, albeit possibly as speeding in an accelerated time-lapse video. SOHO videos can be viewed here .

Japan's Hinode The spacecraft captured this image of mercury, which passed by the sun on November 8, 2006, with the spacecraft's Solar Optical Telescope instrument.

[Picture credits: JAXA / NASA / PPARC]

The Hinode solar observation satellite, led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has captured great images of mercury transits in the past . The mission team will post some time after November 11, NASA spokesman Space.com said. (Hinode is also part of the Solar Terrestrial Probes Program of the Heliophysics Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington.) The 13-year mission has three powerful telescopes that allow scientists to learn how solar phenomena such as warming and magnetism affect each other the dramatic activity of the star, such as solar flares .

Hinode has also captured larger shades from the sun, such as the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 .

There are some recent missions that keep an eye on the Sun and Mercury. The joint European-Japanese mission BepiColombo launched last year and has already taken over 500 pictures ( like this selfie ) on their long journey to Mercury. Erika Verbelen, an ESA spokeswoman, told Space.com that it was not designed to look into the sun. The NASA's Parker Solar Probe has the The name of the star matches its mission title, but right now its instruments are off. Even if they were turned on, which will happen when the probe is closer to the sun in its mission-specified orbit, the Parker solar probe is not designed to take direct images of the sun, NASA spokeswoman Karen C said Fox Space.com. Rather, observations of solar wind are required, radiating from the sun.

Editor's Note : Visit Space.com on November 11 for live webcast views of the rare Mercury Transit as shown by telescopes on Earth and in space , along with complete cover of the celestial event. If you want to SURE take a photo of the Mercury Transit and share it with Space.com and our news partners for a story or gallery, you can send pictures and comments to spacephotos @. space.com .

Follow Doris Elin Urrutia on Twitter @salazar_elin . Follow us on Twitter @SpaceTotcom and Facebook .

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(Photo credit: All About Space)


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