Fun resources for teachers, parents, and students!
What is the Transit of Mercury?
Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system. It has a tilted orbit compared to earth, only allowing the orbits to align thirteen or fourteen times every century in May or November. During these alignments, mercury can be seen moving across the face of the sun. The Mercury Transit can be seen from several points on earth, appearing as a little black dot flying past the sun. The transit takes roughly five and a half hours. The appearance of mercury as a little black dot is due to the Sun being 285 times larger than mercury but mercury being 92 million kilometers closer to the sun than earth is. So, from earth we see mercury’s transit as a small black dot that passes over the sun during the time of orbit alignment.
When is the Transit of Mercury?
The Transit of Mercury is happening November 11, 2019! Make sure you and your students are ready, you’re not going to want to miss this incredible learning opportunity! Remember, you can’t look directly at the sun without protection! So be sure to get the gear you need to watch it.
Check out our animated video on Transit of Mercury 2019 for Kids. In this animation, Mercury, Earth, the Sun, and the Moon all describe what a transit of Mercury is, what it looks like, and why it happens the way it does. Share this video in your classroom or with your learners at home for some fun insight into planetary events and science fun facts.
Also be sure to download and print this Transit of Mercury 2019 Coloring Page for your classroom!
Additional Teacher Resources
For those looking to dive deeper into mercury’s transit, see the resources below: