The Nature Institute to host viewing party at Heartland Prairie
May 2, 2016- The Nature Institute (TNI) and friends invite the community to watch an upcoming rare, celestial event: the Mercury Transit. On Monday, May 9 at 6 a.m. the Mercury Transit Viewing Party will take place at the City of Alton’s Heartland Prairie, located on the north side of Gordon Moore Park at 4550 College Ave. in Alton, Ill. The transition will start around 6:12 a.m. and guests can continue to watch with on-site astronomical enthusiasts until 1 p.m. This event is family friendly, free and open to the public.
The Mercury Transit takes place as the planet crosses paths with the sun. Due to Mercury’s position in the solar system, it passes between the sun and Earth, which causes a black dot on the sun’s face. This dot will be visible to the majority of the planet on May 9. The last transition of Mercury happened in 2006 and the next date will not occur until 2019. MORE