It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
all transits of Mercury fall within several days of May 08 and November 10. Since Mercury's orbit is inclined seven degrees to Earth's, it intersects the ecliptic at two points or nodes which cross the Sun each year on those dates.
If Mercury passes through inferior conjunction at that time, a transit will occur.
Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years.
The periodicity is a reflection of the fact that the orbital periods of Earth and Venus are close to 8:13 and 243:395 commensurabilities.
The next transit of Venus will be on 5 and 6 June 2012, and it will be the last Venus transit this century. The prior transit took place on 8 June 2004.
During the period 2000-2099, the United States will experience about 39 favorable moon-planet occultation or 3.7% of all events (excluding Mercury, Neptune and Pluto).
However, 20 events will occur when the moon is greater than 80% illuminated. Not all locales will be able to view both the disappearance and reappearance of the planet.
No visible occultations occur in the US during these long gaps: 2005-2019, 2049-2057, and 2061-2069. Based on the period 2000-2499 A.D., the worldwide number of viewable occultations per century include: MERCURY: 0 to 3 events; VENUS: 0 to 5 events; MARS: 3 to 12 events; JUPITER: 2 to 15 events; and SATURN: 5 to 15. Only Mercury occultations are readily visible from the tropical latitudes in dark skies.
Most bright planets daylight occultations can be visible with some aid, thus increasing observable events by several factors.
Bright planet lunar occultations (Venus-Saturn) occurring worldwide in daylight and in dark for the next 500 years and a histogram showing the number of annual events.
Occultation of Mercury by the Moon: Careful and very experienced telescopic observers can watch the New Moon occult (eclipse) the planet Mercury in CANCER after sunrise the morning of August 12th.
Mercury and the Moon will be ABOVE the Sun during this occultation, less than 10 degrees from the Sun, and only about 14 degrees above the horizon at the start of the event. Mercury, on the far side of the Sun, appears in its full phase at this time.
Telescopic observers should setup to keep the telescope in the shade if possible and begin watching a few minutes before 6:30 a.m.? Mercury will reappear from behind the Western edge of the Moon between about 7:45a.m. and 8:00a.m.
Next up is an interesting tri-conjunction involving the planets Mercury, Venus and a very slim crescent Moon low in the dusk skies on the 27th, with an occultation of Mercury by the Moon for those lucky Australian and New Zealand-based observers on the 28th
Only 6 such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope (considered as 1601AD) to 2000. Remarkably, in the 54 years following 2000 five more much events will occur, with three of them within a six-months period!!
Simultaneous occultations of two planets occurs with a frequency of between one and three per century. Generally, each such event can be seen favourably only within a rectangular area measuring only a dozen or so degrees (about 1000Kms)
both in latitude and longitude.