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Transit of Mercury, 11th November 2019

On 11th November 2019 a transit of Mercury will occur.

The transit will begin at 12:35 TU (13:35 Oficial Time).

It will be visible from Catalonia but not till the end of the event because of the Sunset. Sunset calculator

Sunset in Barcelona,16:36 TU (17:36 oficial time).


The Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB) with the Quantum Physics and Astrophysics Department

Transits of Mercury are not visible with the naked eye, you must use a telescope for a good viewing.


The projection of the images is the best option to observ this phenomenon.

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transit11112019 Map Jubier2.jpg
Details of the transit

Public observations

How can we observe a transit?

During a transit the disk of the planet is seen projected on the bright surface of the Sun.
What is a transit?

Retrat del capitÓ Cook
History of the transits

Frequently Asked Questions

Video: "Distance to the Sun using Transits" (Spanish)
J. M. arrasco/Miralcel

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The comic of the transits

Proposed activities

To the general public and educational centers:



We offer to the general public and the schools "transit sessions" consisting in a observation with telescope and a theoretical introduction in the faculty by our astronomers.

Activities Timetable:

People and groups registered will be distributed in sessions of one hour since 13:00 to 16:00 Oficial Time. Groups of 25 members maximum.

Every group will receive:

  • A theoretical Session where our researchers will explain the Transit phenomenon in general and this Mercury transit in particular
  • Observation with telescopes placed at Palau Reial, Diagonal Avenue, Barcelona (directly and by the projection method)
Place: Palau Reial / Physics Faculty

Free activity


CONTACT: divulgacio@icc.ub.edu

Notify if you are interested in a session in English.


In order not to create great expectations to the public less experienced with the astronomical observations, we should advice that a Mercury Transit it is not a spectacular event despite being very interesting and beautiful from an astronomical point of view. Mercury is so small that we can't observe it with the naked eye, and the transit duration makes its movement only perceptible if we observe for a while. You should not to hope an event as astonishing as an eclipse.

To the Students of the Physics Faculty:

Observation at the roof of the Faculty

Details of the 11th November transit

Observation times

During a transit we can distinguish some remarkable moments:

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  • Contact I, or external ingress: the instant when the planet's disk is externally tangent with the Sun.
  • Contact II, or internal ingress: the instant when the planet's disk is internally tangent with the Sun. The entire disk of the Venus is first seen.
  • During the next several hours, Venus gradually traverses the solar disk at a relative angular rate of approximately 4 arcmin/hr.
  • Greatest transit is the instant of minimum angular separation between Venus and the Sun as seen from Earth's geocenter.
  • Contact III, or internal egress: the instant when the planet reaches the opposite limb and is once again internally tangent with the Sun.
  • Contact IV, or external egress:the instant when the planet's limb is, similarly to contact I, externally tangent to the Sun but at the opposite side of the Sun. The transit ends at this contact.
The observation times of the transit in Universal time:

Contacte I 12:35:26 TU
Contacte II 12:37:08 TU
Culminaciˇ 15:19:47 TU
Contace III 18:02:33 TU
Contacte IV 18:04:14 TU

Global Visibility

The transit is not visible everywhere on Earth. Depending on the altitude of the Sun in a place during the event, the transit will be entirily, partially or not at all visible.

This map represents the visibility of the transit over the world.

transit11112019 Map Jubier2.jpg
  • Sun will rise with Mercury in Transit, at the west of North America
  • 4 contacts visible from the east of North America, Central America, South America, Atlantic and the west of Africa.
  • The Sunset will occur with the transit in course in Europe, Most Africa, West of Asia and Middle East.
  • Transit will not be visible from Central and Eastern Asia, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

How can we observe the transit?

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Looking at the Sun directly without protection or trough eyeglasses (including sunglasses), telescopes or any other instrument not designed for solar observation may result in severe eye injury and blindness.

Because of the small apparent size of Mercury, it will be impossible to observe the planet's disc during the transit unless aided with an optical instrument (ALWAYS UTILIZING A SOLAR FILTER). The safest way to observe the transit is by projecting the image of the Sun trough a telescope onto a white screen (see figure below). In addition, this procedure permits the simultaneous observation of the phenomenon to a group of people.

However, the projection method will yield a better viewing of the event.


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The last transit of Venus, 2004.

What is a transit?

A transit is the crossing of a planet or any celestial object in front of the Sun. Mercury and Venus are the only Solar System planets that can give transits, because they are closer to the Sun than the Earth. The Moon can also give transits, and in this case the phenomena is called a Solar eclipse

During a transit the disk of the planet is seen projected on the bright surface of the Sun.
During a transit the disk of the planet is seen projected on the bright surface of the Sun.
Composition of pictures of the transit of Mercury 7-05-2003.

How frequent are Mercury transits?

The orbit of Mercury is inclined with respect to the orbit of the Earth (7 degrees in this case). If this inclination was zero transits would occur every 116 days (its synodic period), but given the actual inclination there are only 13 transits per century, separated by intervals ranging from 3.5 to 13 years. Presently they can only occur in the months of May and November.

When did the last transit take place? When will the next transits take place?

The last transit of Mercury took place the 9th of May 2016. On 8th November 2006 and on 7th May 2003 ( Broadcasted on ServiAstro ) other transits of Mercury occurred .

Next pair of transits will be on 13th November 2032 and 7th November 2039.


The transits of XXI'st century and the History of transits

The comic of the transits

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Special webs on ServiAstro about last transits of Mercuri

Special webs on ServiAstro about last transits of Venus

Frequently Asked Questions

The most frequently questions about planetary transits HERE


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