Despite a partially overcast sky in the city, enthusiasts today viewed the passage of the mercury across the sun after a gap of 10 years.
“The size of mercury being very small in comparison to the sun, it appeared just like a dot on the solar disc,” Director of Positional Astronomy Centre (PAC) Sanjib Sen said here.
Referring to the transit of venus that took place on June 6, 2012, Sen said the angular diameter of venus is 6 times that of mercury and so the observers had a much better view of that astronomical event.
The transit of mercury began at 4.41 pm and ended at 6.07 pm in West Bengal. There was a possibility of overcast sky due to nor’wester and so the scientists of PAC here were anxious whether this rare event would be at all visible from the city.
The rare solar event had last taken place in June, 2006.
The Birla Industrial & Technological Museum (BITM) had arranged for viewing the mercury’s transit. So did the Positional Astronomy Centre (PAC) from its office at Sec V in Salt Lake.
Many school children had gathered at places like BITM and PAC to witness the rare event which will again be visible from India in 2032.