Mercury in Transit Viewing Event

Mercury in Transit




Mercury in Transit Viewing Event at Temple University’s new Charles Library Fourth-Floor Terrace

As Mercury passes in front of the Sun, Temple faculty and students will provide high-tech (and safe) viewing opportunities and activities that explore the universe.

WHAT: This all-ages event features a variety of high-tech viewing instruments, tips for safe transit viewing, scale models and computer simulations and an exoplanet transit demonstration.


Jim Napolitano, Chair and Professor of Physics
Experimental nuclear physicist who has taught astrophysics and led night-sky talks for Temple alumni

Jeff Martoff, Professor of Physics
Nuclear physicist whose research explores the nature of dark matter, believed to comprise most of the mass of the universe

Matthew Newby, Assistant Professor of Physics
With a focus on teaching, studies Milky Way history by looking for clues found in old stars and dwarf galaxies

Also: Temple University physics majors

Event activities include:

  • Variety of safe, high-tech viewing instruments, including telescopes, solar binoculars, sun funnels, sun spotters and eclipse glasses
  • Poster exhibits with Q/A hosted by faculty experts and physics students
  • Exoplanet transit demonstration
  • Computer simulations, scale models and posters covering Mercury and the Sun
  • Science-related activities for all ages

WHEN: Monday, November 11, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
This is a rain or shine event.

WHERE: Charles Library, 1900 N. 13th Street, Temple University Main Campus


In astronomy, a solar transit is the movement of any object passing between the Sun and the Earth. As seen from Earth, only transits of Venus and Mercury are possible. There are approximately 13 transits of Mercury each century; next one is 2032. The event’s exoplanet transit demonstration is similar to the technique—measuring the light from a distant star that is diminished slightly by a transit—used to discover thousands of exoplanets, which are bodies that orbit around other stars beyond our Sun.

Temple’s newly opened Charles Library, designed by the acclaimed architectural firm Snohetta, is earning rave reviews for its design and advanced features. 

This all-ages event will feature CST Physics faculty, a variety of viewing instruments, scale models, computer simulations and activities. The event takes place in the new Charles Library’s fourth-floor terrace with its commanding views of the Temple campus and the eastern sky. The event starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at approximately 1:30 p.m.