ScienceSouth joins with Darlington Library to host Mercury Transit event May 9

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By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

Residents of Darlington County have a special treat in store on Monday, May 9th, as ScienceSouth is bringing telescopes to the Darlington County Library to view the rare Mercury transit.

“The transit of the planet Mercury occurs approximately 13 times in a century and is a relatively rare event. Since the event involves looking at the sun, you have to exercise caution,” said ScienceSouth Executive Director Stephen Welch. “For that reason we’ll have three types of viewing instruments on hand for the public to use to experience the Mercury transit, including two H1 Alpha telescopes. These scopes are neat in that they allow the viewing of solar features such as solar prominences and flares that are not visible using a typical refractor or reflector using a solar filter.”

The event begins at the library at 10 a.m.

“We are excited to host the Mercury Transit Viewing at the Darlington County Library,” said Darlington Branch Manager, Gwen Robinson. “Thank you to Francis Parnell and ScienceSouth for making this event possible. This event is for the whole family.”

Francis Parnell, Darlington amateur astronomer and light pollution expert, was instrumental in getting this event organized. “Because transits of Venus and Mercury are rare, they’re always fun to observe,” said Parnell. “I just hope we have clear skies, and lots of folks will visit the library to get a close-up view of this really neat event.”

Robinson said that interest in the event is garnering a lot of attention with patrons of the library. “Francis does a great job keeping us educated on the happenings in the sky,” she said. “We then share that info with our library patrons.”

The library is located at 204 N Main Street in Darlington. The event begins at 10 a.m., and will be over by approximately 2:00 p.m.

Author: Jana Pye

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