Back to Volume
Paper: The Mercury Transit 2016: A World-Wide Outreach Opportunity
Volume: 512, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXV
Page: 657
Authors: Gill, R.; Benkhoff, J.; Breitfellner, M.; Doressoundiram, A.; Rothery, D.
Abstract: The Mercury Transit is a rare phenomenon that will occur on the 9th of May 2016 11:12-18:42 UT. Most of the world will be party to this observable event whereby the planet Mercury will pass in front of our sun (a solar transit), visually it will appear as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun. It will occur approximately ten years since the last transit with the next one due in 2019. Occurring just a year after the end of the MESSENGER mission and a mere few months before the launch of BepiColombo it provides an ideal opportunity to engage the public by highlighting the fascinating science aspects of these missions to Mercury. Furthermore, a dual point observation campaign facilitating live web transmission (possibly in 3D) and world-wide media events will enable the public to feel involved and even observe. The observation of the transit will produce tangible educational benefits by stimulating interest in reproduction of classical transit measurements, Earth-Sun distance calculations, parallax measurements and the production of science results. This outreach project will involve and include a multitude of organisations, people, communications channels, conventional media papers, presentations, posters and of course the full plethora of social media. All these actors will need to communicate efficiently, to do so a central control point is planned. This paper will provide details of the plan and it will provide a channel for the community to get involved.
Back to Volume