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The Transit of Mercury


On 9 May 2016, eight Year 5 children visited the Redoubt Fortress to watch the Transit of Mercury. The Transit of Mercury happens when Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun.

Alfie discovered that the astronomers use the past to predict when planets and stars will be in certain positions in the sky so we can see them. "Mercury is really difficult to see," wrote Maddie, "because it is really small." It is very dangerous to look at the sun without the proper protection for your eyes. The astronomers had "very, very special equipment which allowed us to look through the telescope without getting blinded by the sun." It was also difficult to tell the difference between Mercury and sunspots. Charlie learned that Mercury always looks black against the sun but the sun spots are brown.


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