Join the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club in viewing the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the Sun!
A transit is when a celestial object, like an inferior planet (Mercury and Venus), pass directly in front of the Sun. If you are on the correct side of the Earth to see this event, and have proper solar filters, then you’ll see a tiny dot slowly travel across the face of the Sun.
If you still have your solar glasses from the solar eclipse of 2017, then use them to see if you can spy Mercury’s tiny disk against the Sun. Remember, it is unsafe to view the Sun without proper eye protection!
The next transit won’t be until 2032—so don’t miss out. This free, public viewing will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Park’s Observatories. The transit will begin at 7:35 a.m., but we have to wait for the Sun to clear the trees to be able to see it. The event is weather dependent, so if it’s very cloudy or rain, we won’t be gathering. Please note that the Park’s admission fee still does apply.
To get ready for the viewing, stop by the planetarium to see the main feature playing through November 10, “The Transit of Mercury featuring ‘Solar Quest.'” This is a unique showing in the planetarium theater that includes a short from Buhl Planetarium all about the Sun. Visitors will learn about Mercury and the upcoming Mercury transit on November 11 from a live presentation created by Bays Mountain Planetarian, Jason Dorfman. The live content is rich with great full-dome animations, use of the Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector, and a fun activity! The show runs about 40 minutes. Park guests are also invited to a viewing of the Mercury Transit on November 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Quick guide to Bays Mountain’s Planetarium
Main Show – Tuesday-Friday at 4 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday at 1 & 4 p.m.
Alternate Show – Saturday & Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $5 for non-members, free for members and children under 6
Don’t forget—every Saturday evening through November, visit the observatories for StarWatch, an hour-long program that lets you enjoy the splendor of the night sky at Bays Mountain’s observatories. November’s dates and times are November 2 at 7 p.m., and November 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 6 p.m.
To learn more about Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, call 423-229-9447 or visit baysmountain.com.