Transit of Mercury seen by Proba-2

Watch in







ESA/Royal Observatory of Belgium


As the smallest planet in the Solar System crossed the face of the Sun on Monday 9 May, one of ESA’s smallest satellites was watching.

Proba-2, smaller than a cubic metre, monitors the Sun from Earth orbit with an extreme-ultraviolet telescope. It was able to spot Mercury’s transit of the Sun as a small black disc roughly four pixels in diameter.

The Mercury transit was visible from Earth starting at 11:13 GMT and ending at 18:42 GMT. The total transit time was about 7 hours and 31 minutes.

Solar transits – where a celestial body is seen to pass across the solar disc from the perspective of Earth – are relatively rare events. Mercury undergoes around 13 transits a century, and Venus two transits every 120 years.

Rate this

  • Currently 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4.3/5 (88 votes cast)

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!