Skip to Main Content Griffith Observatory Home
Menu bar print

Transit of Mercury

There is no public observing event at Griffith Observatory

timeline of the eclipse

Watch live on Griffith Observatory TV
Monday, November 11, 2019
6:15 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.
Sunrise: 6:22 a.m.
(Building CLOSED)

What is the transit of Mercury?

The transit of Mercury occurs when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. During the transit, Mercury will appear as a small black dot on the face of the Sun. This is the first transit of Mercury since May 9, 2016. The next transit that may be observed from Los Angeles will occur on May 7, 2049.

How can I safely view the transit?

NO ONE SHOULD EVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROPER PROTECTION. In order to view the Sun and Mercury safely during the transit, all telescopes and other viewing should be done with certifiably safe filters. The silhouette of the planet is only 10 arc-seconds wide (1/194 the sun’s diameter), and therefore Mercury is too small to observe through non-magnifying “eclipse glasses” or via pinhole projection. There is no public observing event at the observatory.

Watch Griffith Observatory's Live Stream of the Mercury Transit starting at 6:15 a.m.   stream links

When can I view the transit from Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, a transit of Mercury across the face of the sun will be in progress at sunrise on November 11, and it will end shortly after 10:00 a.m. The transit starts at 12h 35m UT (4:35 a.m., PST), about 1¼ hours before local sunrise.

Griffith Observatory is CLOSED to the public on Mondays. Griffith Observatory will not be holding a public event for the Transit of Mercury. NOTE: Mount Wilson Observatory and Caltech WILL be hosting a public viewing event.
Mount Wilson Observatory
Caltech

Timeline for the Transit

timeline of the eclipse


Transit Highlights
 time
in PST *
Sun's
Altitude
Sun's
Azimuth
Position
Angle
Angular
Separation
Sunrise6:22:-- a.m. ---- 110.2° ---- ----
Least Angular Distance8:20:28.7 a.m. 10.2°1119.3° 0.0° 1.2°
Egress Interior Contact10:03:00.7 a.m. 33.8°152.7° 298.6° 16.1°
Transit Ends 10:04:40.6 a.m. 33.9°153.2° 298.6 ° 16.2°
* transit events in local time as seen from Los Angeles
  • Least Angular Distance occurs when the planet is at its closest to the center of the sun’s disk.
  • Egress Interior Contact is when the limb of Mercury reaches the limb of the sun as it starts to leave the sun’s face.
  • The transit ends less than two minutes later, when the last trace of Mercury’s silhouette vanishes.