Mercury seen passing between the earth and the sun in Muscat

Muscat: Mercury, the smallest and inner-most planet in the solar system, put on a rare celestial show on Monday when it transited between the earth and sun to create a very small solar eclipse.

Speaking to the Observer, Omar al Hosni, Oman Astronomical Society, pointed out Omanis were able to see the transit during the sunset through telescope.

A tiny black dot silhouetted against the Sun’s disk at 16:34 and at 17:20 it was closest to the centre of the Sun.

Since the Sun is near the horizon at this time from 2000 – 2199, there will be at least 27 transits of Mercury.

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and its orbit takes about 88 days. That’s much faster than Earth’s 365-day orbit and is a much shorter distance – 15,000 kilometres compared with 40,000 kilometres travelled by the Earth on its orbit.

Photos from Oman Astronomical Society