Mount Wilson’s Opening Early for the Mercury Transit

Be up the mountain, both bright and early, for this rare event.

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Literature, philosophy, and folksy wisdom is full of sayings that have to do with one thing not waiting on another thing.

"Time and tide wait for no man" springs to mind, but there are plenty of other chestnuts that have sprouted along a similar path.

Likewise? If the planet Mercury is going to pass in front of our nearest star, giving we earthlings a chance to admire the rare and cosmic occurrence, well, it is going to go ahead and happen, even if it is a weekday, a Monday no less, and quite early.

And that's exactly what's going to happen on Monday morning, Nov. 11. 

To mark the Mercury Transit, Mount Wilson Observatory will open at 6 a.m. on Nov. 11. 

This is definitely not a "naked eye" event, keep in mind, and solar glasses will not be available.

So what will be happening? 

"We will open the the 150' Solar Telescope with a project image as well as live-cast an H-alpha image of the event in our Auditorium," reads a message from the observatory on Facebook.

"Additionally, we will host amateur astronomical telescopes provided by members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and others for public viewing."

There's a full schedule posted on the observatory's Facebook page, if you want to be sure to time your visit to when the full transit is in flower (though the full comes soon after the partial, and "maximum" will happen at 7:20:28 a.m.).

"There is no fee associated with this event," is the word from Mount Wilson. 

If you can't join, hang tight: The next Mercury Transit happens in 2032.

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