Mercurys Transit: An Unusual Spot on the Sun
What's that dot
on the Sun?
If you look closely, it is almost perfectly round.
The dot is the result of an unusual type of
that occurred last week.
Usually it is the
that eclipses the Sun.
Last week, for the first time in over three years, the planet
took a turn.
Like the approach to New Moon before a
the phase of Mercury became a continually thinner
as the planet
progressed toward an alignment with the Sun.
Eventually the phase of
to zero and
the dark spot of Mercury crossed our parent star.
The situation could technically be labeled a Mercurian
with an extraordinarily large
ring of fire
From above the
of the night side of Mercury, the Earth appeared in its fullest phase.
Hours later, as Mercury continued in its orbit, a slight
crescent phase appeared again.
The next Mercurian solar eclipse
will occur in 2016.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
A service of:
& Michigan Tech. U.