Transit of Mercury

The University of Saint Francis Schouweiler Planetarium and the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society (FWAS) invite the community to join them throughout the morning and early afternoon on Monday, May 9 to safely view the Transit of Mercury. A Transit of Mercury occurs when the Earth, Mercury and Sun align in such a way that over the course of several hours, Mercury can be seen as a tiny dot moving across the disk of the Sun.

To attempt to see this event without special equipment will result in blindness, so the FWAS and USF Schouweiler Planetarium will provide four special viewing locations.

Site Information:

  • 7 – 9 a.m. – Kreager Park, North River Road, East Parking lot area
  • 10 a.m. – 2:33 p.m. (end of transit) – Freimann Square, downtown
  • 10 a.m. – 2:33 p.m. (end of transit) – University of Saint Francis parking lot on south side of Hutzell Athletic Center off Leesburg Road
  • 11 a.m. – 2:33 p.m. (end of transit) – Parks and Recreation Community Center, 233 West Main Street

PLEASE NOTE: In order to see the Transit of Mercury, observers will need to be able to see the Sun. If it is very overcast, raining, or there is a threat of immediate rain, there will be no viewing. If it is partly cloudy, we will attempt to view the event. Any immediate threat of rain will result in closure of the viewing site to protect the observing equipment.

Planetarium Closing

The Edwin Clark Schouweiler Memorial Planetarium is closing May 31, 2016. Teachers seeking student learning opportunities may consider art gallery guided tours. For scheduling contact 260.399.7700, ext. 8001, or mmcgowan@sf.edu.

WinterFest 2016

Thanks to all who came to our WinterFest 2016 events. We hoped you enjoyed your time at the Schouweiler as much as we enjoyed meeting and talking with you.

Thanks for the many “out of towners” who made the special effort to come, some making the repeat trip both weeks.

Our next scheduled public shows are the two weekends of Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers Festival: July 8-10 and 15-16.

We will be having one or more special events related to the Transit of Mercury, which occurs on Monday, May 9, 2016. While not as rare as Transits of Venus, Mercury transits occur infrequently.

A transit of Mercury is when the planet Mercury can be seen as it passes in front of the Sun from the vantage point of the Earth. May’s transit will take place during most of the morning of the 9th. It can only be viewed with the special equipment that is used to protect the eyes when viewing eclipses of the Sun.

At this writing the Schouweiler is in conversation with its colleagues of the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society about jointly operating one or more Transit viewing stations in the Fort Wayne area.  Periodically check this site as the transit date approaches for information about where you will be able to safely view this year’s transit of Mercury.

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