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Mercury Makes Rare Move Across The Sun

The planet Mercury is seen in silhouette, lower left, as it transits across the face of the sun Monday, May 9, 2016. The last time it happened was 2006. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
The planet Mercury is seen in silhouette, lower left, as it transits across the face of the sun Monday, May 9, 2016. The last time it happened was 2006. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

It's a relatively rare move for Mercury.

The smallest planet is appearing Monday morning as a tiny black dot on the face of the sun, and it's expected to last for about seven hours — until about 2:30 p.m.

Mercury's  transit will be captured NASA and can be viewed here.

The following animation by NASA charts the planet's path across the sun:

The last time Mercury made a similar trip was in 2006, and it'll happen again about three years from now on November 11, 2013. The planet goes directly between the sun and Earth approximately 13 times a century.

NASA says all of Mercury can be seen in the eastern U.S. and Canada, as well as most of western Europe and South America.

Careful though: Without a safe solar filter, staring at the sun can really hurt your eyes. Plus, you won't be able to see Mercury's transit without a telescope.

With additional reporting from the WBUR Newsroom

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