York University invites community to watch Mercury in transit May 9


TORONTO, May 5, 2016 – Watch Mercury transit across the Sun’s disk at York University on May 9. The last time Mercury made the move was in 2006.

Observatory telescopes and a live feed will be in place at York Lions Stadium, from 9am to 2pm, with solar glasses available for everyone attending. The free public event is hosted by the Astronomical Observatory and the Astronomy Club at York University.

Since the orbit of Mercury lies inside of Earth's orbit, Mercury passes between Earth and the Sun about 13 times per century. From Earth, we see this as a small black dot moving slowly in front of the Sun.

Mercury transits the Sun as seen from Earth in 2006. Credit ESA NASA SOHO

Mercury transits the Sun as seen from Earth in 2006. Credit ESA NASA SOHO

“Observing the Mercury transit reveals one of the fundamental ways we detect exoplanets orbiting other stars”, says Paul Delaney, director of the York University Astronomical Observatory and the Division of Natural Science, Faculty of Science, York University.  “This event highlights the gravitational embrace stars have for planets and how we can learn so much from such simple observations.”

The actual transit will start at 7:10am and end at 2:44pm. For those unable to attend the event at York, the event can also be monitored via the York University Observatory website.

WHAT: Mercury in Transit spectator event at York University

WHEN: Monday, May 9, from 9am to 2pm

WHERE: York Lions Stadium, York University, 4700 Keele St, Toronto (number 6 on the Map).

COST: Free

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our 52,000 students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 24 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide.

Media Contact:

Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097 / sandramc@yorku.ca