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St. Petersburg College to host telescope viewing of Mercury Transit on May 9
Date:  5/3/2016
ArticleType:  Member News

This is a press release from St. Petersburg College. For more information, contact Rita Farlow, Assistant Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 727-302-6526 or Marilyn Shaw, Public Relations Specialist, 727-341-4712.

St. Petersburg College to host telescope viewing of Mercury Transit on May 9

St. Petersburg College is offering a telescope viewing of the planet Mercury crossing the face of the sun on May 9. This event is called a transit, and last occurred in November 2006.

The free telescope viewing will occur (weather permitting) from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 9 at SPC St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg, on the third floor of the Natural Science building. Several telescopes will be available to view the transit.

This transit begins at about 7:12 a.m. EDT as Mercury first touches the sun's disk, according to SPC Planetarium Director Craig Joseph. Over the next few hours, Mercury will gradually move across the sun, exiting the sun’s disk at 2:42 p.m.

This unique event can be safely viewed only through telescopes equipped with special filters. With telescopes so equipped, Mercury will appear as a tiny black dot seen in silhouette against the sun’s disk.

The event is free and open to the public.

For additional information, call the SPC planetarium at 727-341-4320.

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