Transit of Mercury | Nov. 11 | Cancelled

Transit of Mercury | Nov. 11 | 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

Transit of Mercury
Monday, November 11
7:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Event

There’s a special astronomical event on the horizon: the Transit of Mercury! On November 11, Mercury will be crossing the face of the Sun as seen on Earth.

At this free event*, speak with Adler astronomers and volunteers about the transit and enjoy telescope observing through solar-filtered telescopes. You won’t want to miss this—the next Transit of Mercury won’t be visible in Chicago until 2049!

*Due to inclement weather, we will unfortunately not be able to see the transit of Mercury from Chicago. We apologize for the inconvenience, but look forward to looking up with our community at future sky observing events.

*This event is weather permitting and will be taking place right outside of the Adler’s Doane Observatory.

Transit of Mercury FAQ

What is a Transit of Mercury?

The Transit of Mercury is when the Earth’s orbit and Mercury’s orbit line up so that Mercury appears to cross the face of the Sun as seen from Earth.

This phenomenon, a “transit,” can only occur with planets that are interior to where the viewer is. For Earth, that’s Mercury and Venus.

What time does it occur?

In the Chicagoland area, the transit will occur from sunrise (~6:37 am) to 12:04 pm CDT.

Can I use solar viewing glasses to see the Transit of Mercury?

We do not recommend purchasing solar viewing glasses to view the transit. Mercury will be too small to spot with just solar-filtered eyes. The best way to view the transit it through a properly solar-filtered telescope or properly solar-filtered binoculars.

When are the next Transits of Mercury after this one?

The next Transits of Mercury are in November, 2032 and November, 2039, but they won’t be visible from Chicago since the Sun will not be up here when these transits occur.

The next one visible from Chicago isn’t until May, 2049—so if you miss this one, you won’t be able to see another one in this area for 30 years!