On Monday, November 11, the world will experience a “Transit of Mercury” when the planet Mercury crosses between the Earth and the Sun. Using a solar telescope, skywatchers will be able to see Mercury move across the face of the sun. There are approximately 13 transits of Mercury each century. The last one occurred in 2016.
Solar Telescope Viewing
Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, in partnership with the UAZ Steward Observatory and students from the Astronomy Club, will provide free solar telescope viewing on the mall from 7am to 11am so that visitors can see the transit. The sun will rise above the Rincon Mountains in the east sometime after 7am, so early visitors will see the sunrise and Mercury will already be crossing the sun.
Special Planetary Activities
At the same time as the telescopes outside on the mall, inside the planetarium theater Flandrau will show the live NASA broadcast of the transit between scheduled shows. And we’ll offer special family-friendly planet activities and demos for visitors that explain how “transits” work, and how we use planetary transits to search for planets that orbit other stars (exoplanets).
Reduced Admission for Flandrau Exhibits and Shows
Flandrau will offer free admission on the morning of Monday, November 11 from 7am to 12noon. After 12pm, we’ll have discounted $5 admission to exhibits. All day we’ll offer special bargain $5 planetarium shows.
Veteran’s Day Special Offer
Monday, November 11 is also Veteran’s Day. To honor the service of the men and women in our Armed Forces, anyone with a Military ID will enjoy free admission and one (1) free planetarium show all weekend including Monday (Nov 9, 10, 11)!
ALSO, Veteran’s Day is a holiday for the University of Arizona, so parking is free in the nearby Cherry Avenue parking lot.