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What's Up for May. Two huge solar system highlights: Mercury transits the sun and Mars is closer to Earth than it has been in 11 years.

In a rare celestial event, Mercury will pass in front of the sun on Monday, Nov. 11.

The stellar show, which only happens about 13 times a century, starts at 7:35 a.m. when the tiny planet begins the transit across the sun, according to NASA.

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Mercury will be close to the center of the giant star at approximately 11:20 a.m. The East Coast of the United States will have the best views of the event, since the sun won’t be up yet on the left side of the country.

It’s not safe to look directly at the sun, as it can damage your eyes. Only view the transit with proper safety equipment such as binoculars and telescopes fitted with special filters.

You will be able to safely view the innermost planet’s heavenly trek thanks to NASA. The space agency will live-stream the event starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday on the NASA Facebook page at Facebook.com/NASA. There also will be an informal round-table during which scientists will answer questions via Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #AskNASA. The event also will be broadcast on NASA TV at NASA.gov/multimedia/nasatv.

Members of the South Florida Amateur Astronomer Society and operators of the Fox Astronomical Observatory in Markham Park in Weston will set up a viewing area with telescopes from 6:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale on the east side of A1A north of of Birch State Park, weather permitting, says Monroe Pattillo, the group’s president. Get more information at SFAAA.com.

“The transit will begin when the sun is only about 9 degrees above the horizon. To see the celestial event properly requires an observing location where the sun is visible low to the eastern horizon,” Patrillo says. That makes the beach perfect for viewing as the sun rises.

The Frost Museum of Science in Miami also will offer real-time live views through a telescope on the building’s roof from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Get more info at FrostScience.org/event/transit-of-mercury.

Monday will be prime time for scientific study. When one of the planets passes in front of the sun, it causes a slight dip in the sun’s brightness as it blocks a tiny portion of the sun’s light, according to NASA. That allows scientists to search for exoplanets, which are planets orbiting distant stars.

Only Mercury and Venus transit the sun. While transits of Mercury happen more often, transits of Venus are rare. That last happened in 2012. The next one will be on Dec. 11, 2117, NASA said.

The last time Mercury passed in front of the sun was in 2016. Its next transit will happen in the United States in 2049, according to NASA.

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安徽快三开奖预测号码
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