World / Science & Health

Tiny black dot: Mini Mercury skips across sun's vast glare in rare transit

AP

Mini Mercury is skipping across the vast, glaring face of the sun in a rare celestial transit.

Stargazers used solar-filtered binoculars and telescopes to spot Mercury — a tiny black dot — as it passed directly between Earth and the sun on Monday.

The eastern U.S. and Canada get the whole 5½-hour show, along with Central and South America. The rest of the world, except for Asia and Australia, get just a sampling.

Mercury is the solar system’s smallest, innermost planet. The next transit isn’t until 2032, and North America won’t get another shot until 2049.

At Cape Canaveral, Florida, space buffs got a two-for-one. As Mercury’s silhouette graced the sun, SpaceX launched 60 small satellites for global internet service.