On Monday, Nov. 11, Mercury will transit the Sun for the first time since 2016, and the community is invited to join the Los Alamos High School Astronomy Club in witnessing this rare event from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Los Alamos High School courtyard between A-wing and E-wing.
Viewers are cautioned to never look at the Sun directly as doing so will result in vision damage. The transit can be viewed safely through a telescope equipped with the proper solar filter. Some five telescopes will be available at this event, but community members are welcome to bring their own telescopes with solar filters.
All ages are invited to watch the transit at LAHS, including small children accompanied by adults. LAHS science teachers will be offering extra credit for students who attend.
The LAHS Astronomy club will be coordinating with other groups from around the country in order to share information and in turn measure the size of the astronomical unit, the average distance from the Earth to the sun, using triangulation and trigonometry.
There will also be a small viewing of the transit available at Overlook Park sponsored by Pajarito Astronomers from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in White Rock.
The passage of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare occurrence. The next transit of Mercury is predicted to occur in 2032, although the next one visible from New Mexico will be in 2049.
For more information, please contact Debbie Grothaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.