%I #3 Oct 12 2012 14:38:25
%N Years in which a transit of Mercury (as seen from Earth) took place or is expected to occur, according to the catalog by Fred Espenak.
%C A transit is a kind of eclipse, in which a planet is seen to "transit" across the sun. The transiting planet appears as a small black dot slowly making its way across the sun's area.
%C Transits are predictable events, but certain characteristics of the orbit of Mercury in relation to the orbit of Earth complicate the pattern. For those years in which a Mercury transit occurs, it occurs in either May or November. Each transit is separated by 3.5, 7, 9.5, 10 or 13 years. Barring any significant changes to the orbits of the planets in the solar system, the predicted transits should occur as expected.
%H Fred Espenak, <a href="http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/catalog/MercuryCatalog.html">Transits of Mercury: Seven Century Catalog, 1601 CE to 2300 CE</a> Provides detailed time and place data as well as some explanations specific to Mercury transits.
%H Amy Simon-Miller, <a href="http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/transit.html">Planetary Transits Across the Sun</a>. Provides a general explanation of the concept of planetary transits and links to many more resources on the topic.
%Y For years of Venus transits, see A171467. Venus transits occur less often than Mercury transits.
%A _Paul Muljadi_, Dec 09 2009
%E With data from NASA, terms verified by _Alonso del Arte_ Dec 10 2009