May 9–10, 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.
2016 Mercury Transit Animation
The animation shows what the 2016 Mercury Transit approximately looked like from Earth.
Where the Transit Was Seen
Try our new interactive eclipse maps. Zoom in and search for accurate eclipse times and visualizations for any location.
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.
Who Could See the Transit
When the 2016 Mercury Transit Happened Worldwide — Timeline
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|
* These local times do not refer to a specific location but indicate the beginning, peak, and end of the eclipse on a global scale, each line referring to a different location. Please note that the local times for Washington DC are meant as a guideline in case you want to view the eclipse via a live webcam. They do not mean that the eclipse is necessarily visible there. 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.
Find Eclipses in Your City
Eclipses in 2016
- Mar 8 / Mar 9, 2016 – Total Solar Eclipse
- Mar 23, 2016 — Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
- May 9–10, 2016 — Mercury Transit (this page)
- Aug 18, 2016 — Almost Lunar Eclipse
- Sep 1, 2016 – Annular Solar Eclipse
- Sep 16–17, 2016 — Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Eclipses in 2018
- Jan 31, 2018 — Total Lunar Eclipse
- Feb 15, 2018 – Partial Solar Eclipse
- Jul 13, 2018 – Partial Solar Eclipse
- Jul 27–28, 2018 — Total Lunar Eclipse
- Aug 11, 2018 – Partial Solar Eclipse
Eclipses in 2019
- Jan 5 / Jan 6, 2019 – Partial Solar Eclipse
- Jan 20–21, 2019 — Total Lunar Eclipse
- Jul 2, 2019 – Total Solar Eclipse
- Jul 16–17, 2019 — Partial Lunar Eclipse
- Nov 11–12, 2019 — Mercury Transit
- Dec 26, 2019 – Annular Solar Eclipse