Path of Mercury's transit in 2006 as charted by NASA

Path of Mercury’s transit in 2006 as charted by NASA

On Saturday, universities across Canada held Science Rendezvouses where they invited the public to stop by for all sorts of fun and enlightening activities related to the world of science.

It’s too bad the astronomical event that’s happening Monday didn’t happen on Saturday instead as it’s something most members of the public will need some professional assistance in order to appreciate.

Starting Monday at 5:12 a.m. Regina time Mercury, the innermost planet in our solar system, will begin a transit across the face of the Sun. Mercury orbits the Sun once every 88 days, but because of the way its orbit is tilted in relation to Earth, transits happen only 13 times every century — always in May or November, and visible only from particular areas of Earth depending on the time of day.

Monday’s transit coincides with sunrise in Regina, and will last until 12:42 p.m. So assuming we have cloud-free skies, we’ll have what CBC describes as an “exceptional view”. If you’re an experienced astronomer, you can view the transit through your own equipment. But if you’re in need of professional help you can find some in-person and on-line viewing options here.