The Transit of Mercury Special Event at Oak Bottom Amphitheater

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Date: May 5, 2016
Contact: Matt Switzer, 530-242-3454

On May 9th, there will be a rare transit of Mercury, when the smallest planet in our solar system will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun. The last time this happened was in 2006, and the next two occasions will be in 2019 and 2032.

First observed in 1631, the Transit of Mercury is an astronomical event which occurs a little more than a dozen times a century. In celebration of the Transit of Mercury, the Shasta Astronomy Club will be partnering with the National Park Service to provide public viewing of this rare occasion.

Members of Shasta Astronomy Club and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area will have special solar telescopes set up for safe viewing at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater (adjacent to the Oak Bottom Marina parking lot) from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The transit will already be in progress at sunrise and will end at approximately 11:45 a.m. Visitors will see the small black dot of Mercury making its way across the disc of the sun, as well as activity on the surface of the sun itself.

For the health and safety of your eyes, NEVER attempt to look at the sun through any binoculars or telescopes that are not specifically designed for solar viewing. Looking at the sun through regular binoculars and telescopes can cause serious and irreversible damage!

For more information on the Transit of Mercury at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, please contact Matt Switzer at (530) 242-3454. To learn more about the Shasta Astronomy Club and other events they put on and attend, please visit For more information on the Transit of Mercury, please visit the EarthSky website at


Last updated: May 5, 2016

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