Discover Mercury: Introduction

Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2016
November 11th sees the Transit of Mercury. Get to know the planet we're starting to find out a whole lot more about. 

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Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun on 11 November 2019. This will be visible from the UK and western Europe. Mercury is also the target of the European Space Agency’s mission BepiColombo. This is a joint enterprise with the Japanese space agency (JAXA) that is due to arrive in orbit about Mercury in 2024.

False colour view of Mercury

So why all the interest in Mercury, the closest planet to our Sun?

In this series of videos scientists share their enthusiasm with you, inspired by some of the surprises revealed by NASA’s recent MESSENGER mission to Mercury. They will explain why Mercury has them baffled and excited, and talk about how they got involved and the special nature of working in a multinational team.

You will also meet some of those responsible for building BepiColombo’s X-ray spectrometer, the project’s UK-led instrument.

We also show you how to watch a transit of Mercury safely (without damaging your eyes). 

 

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  • picture of David Rothery

    David Rothery

    (Department of Physical Sciences)

    Professor David Rothery is a volcanologist and planetary scientist at The Open University, where he is Professor of Planetary Geosciences within the Department of Physical Sciences. He chairs modules in level 2 planetary science, and ...

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