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On Monday, May 9, 2016, the planet Mercury will transit in front of the Sun. During the transit, lasting about 8 hours, Mercury will appear as a very small, black dot slowly passing in front of the Sun. On average, there are 13 transits of Mercury each century. The last transit was November 08, 2006 and the next will be on November 11, 2019. Transits of Venus are rarer still (unfortunately the next one will be in 2117).
Weather permitting, the physics department will set up solar telescopes in the Quad in front of the Memorial Union starting at aroung 8:30 on the morning of May 9 for classroom students and public viewing.