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.
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.