Mercury Transit & Beyond 2016

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Mercury Transit 2016On Monday May 9th, 2016 the planet Mercury will come between the Earth & the Sun, so we will be able to see Mercury transiting (crossing) the disc of the Sun using special telescopes.

California will be able to see most of the event in 2016; the next Mercury transits will take place until the years 2019 and 2049.

UC Riverside is hosting an all day event! So take 15 minutes of your time and come see this event of a lifetime through our telescopes and then come back in the afternoon for a special talk!

All events are free and open to the public.


Telescope Observation Special Invited Talk
  • May 9 from 8:30 to 11:30 AM
  • Prof. Bahram Mobasher
    [UC Riverside]
  • Parking Lot 30
    [MLK Blvd & Canyon Crest]
  • Free parking
  • Information in English and & Spanish
  • May 9 at 6:00 PM
  • Prof. Stephen Kane
  • Univ. Extension Center
    [1200 University Ave.]
  • Free parking
  • Talk in English

Telescope Observation

The Physics and Astronomy department of UCR and the Riverside Astronomical Society will provide special telescopes to safely see Mercury transiting the solar disc.
Lines are expected to be short, so come on down and take 5 minutes to see Mercury. Parking is free !
The transit will have started when the sun rises over the horizon and will finish at 11:46 AM.
You can see a simulation of how it will look in Riverside.

san francisco

Transit as seen from Riverside.
Times are expressed in Universal Time
(subtract 7 hours for Pacific Daylight).




Special Invited Talk: Transiting Planets Both Inside and Outside of our Solar System

Stephen Kane has been researching planets around other stars for more than 20 years and has discovered and characterized hundreds of exoplanets, including Kepler-186f which is the smallest planet yet to have been found in the Habitable Zone of a star. After spending many years working at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Kane is now a Professor of Astrophysics at San Francisco State University (SFSU). He is the Chair of the Kepler Habitable Zone Working Group and the Director of the Planetary Research Laboratory at SFSU.

The talk will focus on the search for extrasolar planets. Over the past few centuries, observing transits of planets inside our solar system has been essential for understanding the separation between the planets. Over the past few decades, observing transits outside of our Solar System has led to the discovery of exoplanets, many of which show remarkable diversity compared with our own Solar System. In this talk I will describe how planetary transits have led to the discovery of thousands of new planets and revolutionized our view of the universe. Along the way, I will describe planets that may have the potential for habitability and I will discuss a pathway for testing the planetary properties that create habitable condition

Seating capacity is 300 people.

Mercury Transit as captured by NASA in 2006.
Mercury Transit as captured by NASA in 2006.

Twitter: @astroucr
Event’s poster

This event is made possible thanks to the support of the Alternative Earths Program, UCR’s Chancellor’s Office, the CNAS Dean’s Office, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Department of Earth Sciences, the Riverside Astronomical Society, the FIELDS Program, NASA and UC Riverside campus.