Photos from Suffolk astronomer as Mercury transits across the sun on Monday afternoon

Mercury is a small disc entering on the lefthand side. Taken by astronomer Lawrence Harris above Nor

Mercury is a small disc entering on the lefthand side. Taken by astronomer Lawrence Harris above Norfolk at around 12.30pm. The other dark marks are sunspots. Photo: Lawrence Harris - Credit: Archant

Astronomer Lawrence Harris is taking photos today of the rare transit of Mercury across the sun. His latest photos will be below.

Mercury begins its transit across the sun. Photo: Lawrence Harris

Mercury begins its transit across the sun. Photo: Lawrence Harris - Credit: Archant

Mercury is visible on Monday afternoon as it makes a transit across the Sun.

Mr Harris is taking the photos from his observatory in Stowupland in Suffolk.

Astronomers have warned the event, which was last visible in 2006, should not be viewed.

A pair of eclipse glasses would not be able to magnify the sight sufficiently and a solar telescope would be needed for a full view.

Mercury begins its transit across the sun. Photo: Lawrence Harris

Mercury begins its transit across the sun. Photo: Lawrence Harris - Credit: Archant


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'It is dangerous to look directly at the sun unless you have got the proper equipment and filters,' said Dave Balcombe, member of the Norwich Astronomical Society.

'You will need specialist equipment to see it and the thing to emphasise is safety. You will need a solar telescope to catch a glimpse of Mercury because it is only 105th of the size of the sun and will appear only as a tiny dot across the face of the sun from our perspective.

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'It is too small to see with the naked eye and as soon as you magnify the sun it becomes even more dangerous.'

Starting at around 12.12pm, the transit will take around seven hours until it passes out of view just after 7pm.

Mercury transits across the sun on Monday May 9 2016. Photo: Lawrence Harris

Mercury transits across the sun on Monday May 9 2016. Photo: Lawrence Harris - Credit: Archant

The next transit of Mercury is expected to be November 2019, but will not be as easily visible from the UK.

Mercury transits across the sun on Monday May 9 2016. Photo: Lawrence Harris

Mercury transits across the sun on Monday May 9 2016. Photo: Lawrence Harris - Credit: Archant

Mercury transits across the sun on Monday May 9 2016. Photo: Lawrence Harris

Mercury transits across the sun on Monday May 9 2016. Photo: Lawrence Harris - Credit: Archant

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