Transit of Mercury 2016

Monday 9 May 2016

We had a great afternoon in Oxford and Banbury with our free public viewings of the transit of Mercury. Mercury transits occur about a dozen times every century, and ones visible from the UK are even rarer, so HCO teamed up with the Museum of the History of Science to run observations for this rare event. Several hundred people were able to see the sun through our various telescopes (with solar filters specially made for the event), projections and solar scopes.

click here for more photos from the events



Mercury in Transit

Monday 9 May 2016, noon - 3pm, University Parks, Oxford & Tooley's Boatyard, Banbury

We are pleased to announce that HCO will be teaming up with the Museum of the History of Science to run free public astronomy events for a rare astronomical event. The planet Mercury passes between the Earth and Sun about a dozen times every century, appearing as a dot crossing its surface. Don’t miss your chance to do some rare daytime astronomy to observe the next transit of Mercury!

We will be running two simultaneous events, one in Oxford and one in Banbury, both running from midday to 3pm. We will have a range of ways to safely view the transit, including projections of the sun, telescopes with professionally made solar filters and solar telescopes designed specifically for observing the sun. Depending on the solar 'weather' sunspots and solar prominences may also be visible through the telescopes. Click here to find out more about Transits...

As always, never look at the sun with the naked eye and never observe the sun without the proper equipment.


The Oxford event will take place in the public play area by Keeble Gate, Univsersity Parks, Oxford:

The Banbury event will take place in Tooley's Boatyard, Banbury:

Both events are completely free, so just drop in any time between 12 noon and 3pm. The next entire transit of Mercury visible from the UK isn't for another 23 years, so make sure you don't miss your chance to observe this rare event!


 Animation of the 2003 transit of Mercury
Animation of the 2003 transit of Mercury by HCO Director Christopher Taylor


2004 Transit of Venus
The HCO and Museum of the History of Science event for the 2004 transit of Venus