October 30, 2006

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Edtwon A. Myree Student Assistant

VSU Presents Mercury Crossing

The Planetarium at Valdosta State University will present Mercury Crossing on Friday, November 3, at 8 and 9 p.m in Nevins Hall room 3004. The program will highlight the rare occurrence of the planet Mercury’s transit across the face of the sun, which will happen on November 8, 2006.

The planet Mercury’s plane lining up with Earth’s happens only 13 or 14 times every 100 years. The marvel is similar to a solar eclipse, only the eclipsing body, Mercury in this instance, appears to be much smaller than the Sun. Mercury’s crossing of the Sun will cover a span of five hours. The transit can be seen locally beginning at 2:12 p.m. on Wednesday the 8th and end after the Sun sets.

Dr. Martha Leake, a world authority on the planet Mercury, will present the program in the VSU Planetarium. If weather permits, guests will be able to use the observatory for the opportunity to view the heavens.

On the day of the transit, November 8, the astronomers of VSU will allow the public to view this rare occurrence through the telescopes, equipped with solar filters to protect the eyes, located on the roof of Nevins Hall.

In ancient mythology Mercury was the swift-footed messenger god who, equipped with wings on feet and helmet, delivered both good and bad news. Admission is by ticket only. Tickets are free of charge. Seating is limited to 47 per show but may be reserved in advance by calling the VSU Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at 229-333-5752. Tickets may also be picked up at the door the night of the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. Limited public parking is available in front of Nevins Hall.
For more information contact the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at 229-333-5752.

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