May 9 / May 10, 2016 — Mercury Transit
This Transit of Mercury was visible for at least several hours in most of the world, including the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, and most of Asia.
The Transit was not visible to the naked eye – you needed specialized viewing equipment to see it. Never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection. You can seriously hurt your eyes and even go blind.
Mercury's path in front of the Sun is almost a horizontal line. However, throughout the day, the angle from which we observe the Sun from Earth, makes it look like it passes in a curve (see animation). Exactly how it looks, varies according to your location on Earth.
Where the 2016 Mercury Transit Was Seen
Regions seeing at least some parts of the transit: Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica.
When the 2016 Mercury Transit Happened Worldwide
Planet transits are normally visible from all locations where the Sun is up. However, because of different viewing angles, the start and end times can vary by a few minutes. The times below are actual times (in UTC) when the transit is visible.
|Event||UTC Time||Time in Washington DC*|
|First location that saw the partial transit begin||May 9 at 11:10:25||May 9 at 7:10:25 am|
|Geocentric** partial transit began (ingress, exterior contact)||May 9 at 11:12:18||May 9 at 7:12:18 am|
|First location that saw the full transit begin||May 9 at 11:13:37||May 9 at 7:13:37 am|
|Geocentric** full transit began (ingress, interior contact)||May 9 at 11:15:30||May 9 at 7:15:30 am|
|Mercury was closest to the Sun's center||May 9 at 14:57:25||May 9 at 10:57:25 am|
|Geocentric** full transit ended (egress, interior contact)||May 9 at 18:39:12||May 9 at 2:39:12 pm|
|Last location that saw full transit end||May 9 at 18:41:05||May 9 at 2:41:05 pm|
|Geocentric** transit ended (egress, exterior contact)||May 9 at 18:42:24||May 9 at 2:42:24 pm|
|Last location that saw partial transit end||May 9 at 18:44:17||May 9 at 2:44:17 pm|
* Local times shown do not refer to when the transit could be observed from Washington DC. Instead, they indicate the times when the transit began, was at its midpoint, and ended, somewhere else on Earth. The corresponding local times are useful if you wanted to view the transit via a live webcam. Times should be accurate to a few seconds.
** The geocentric times refer to a theoretical situation where the transit is viewed from the Earth's center. They are used to provide an approximately average time schedule for astronomical events. Because of varying perspectives, observers on the Earth's surface will experience the transit at slightly different times depending on their location.
Geocentric duration of this Mercury Transit is 7 hours, 30 minutes, 6 seconds.
Eclipses in Your City
Eclipses in 2016
- Mar 8 / Mar 9, 2016 – Total Solar Eclipse
- Mar 23, 2016 — Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
- May 9 / May 10, 2016 — Mercury Transit (this page)
- Aug 18, 2016 — Almost Lunar Eclipse
- Sep 1, 2016 – Annular Solar Eclipse
- Sep 16 / Sep 17, 2016 — Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Eclipses in 2017
- Feb 10 / Feb 11, 2017 — Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
- Feb 26, 2017 – Annular Solar Eclipse
- Aug 7 / Aug 8, 2017 — Partial Lunar Eclipse
- Aug 21, 2017 – Total Solar Eclipse
Eclipses in 2018
- Jan 31, 2018 — Total Lunar Eclipse
- Feb 15, 2018 – Partial Solar Eclipse
- Jul 13, 2018 – Partial Solar Eclipse
- Jul 27 / Jul 28, 2018 — Total Lunar Eclipse
- Aug 11, 2018 – Partial Solar Eclipse