Next Meeting Presentation

3 October 2019 – Next Club Meeting

An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC-Asheville

Thursday night, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – In the Reuter Center’s Manheimer Room, located on the UNC Asheville campus. The meeting is free and open to the general public.

November 11, 2019’s Transit of Mercury – presented by Bernard Arghiere, Astronomy Club of Asheville

Of the Solar System’s five naked-eye planets that have been observed since the origins of humankind, Mercury is the most elusive to spot.  It never rises more than 22° above the horizon at dusk or dawn, and, unlike Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, most folks have never wittingly observed Mercury!  But on November 11, 2019, Mercury will transit across the disk of the Sun, providing a great opportunity to view it easily during daylight with a safely, filtered telescope.

Mercury transits are rare events.  Mr. Arghiere will explain how, when and why planetary transits occur, as well as a brief history of Mercury transit observations, dating back to the year 1631, only 22 years after Galileo pointed a telescope for the first time toward the heavens above. He will also share some other amazing facts about our Solar System’s innermost and smallest planet, including how Einstein’s general relativity theory finally accounted for a long-known peculiarity with Mercury’s orbit that Newtonian laws of motion and gravity failed to explain.

Lastly, Mr. Arghiere will share just how, when and where you may safely observe this rare 5½ hour, Mercury transit event in the Asheville area on November 11th.