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Sky watchers come out in Goleta to see Mercury pass by the sun

Astronomical unit telescopes
John Palminteri/KEYT
The Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit telescopes were set up at the Camino Real Marketplace to view Mercury Monday morning. (John Palminteri/KEYT)

 GOLETA, Calif. - The tiny planet Mercury was a big draw for those hoping to get a glimpse of a rare pass by the sun this morning.

A special event took place at the Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta for about three hours starting at 7:00 a.m.

Several telescopes were set up by the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. They were equipped with safety filters.

Some people also put on special oversized glasses with super-dark filter lenses that were comical but designed to block the damaging sun rays.

Unlike an eclipse, to see Mercury in this event it takes a telescope.

The last time this happened with Mercury passing by the sun was in May of 2016.

Those attending received a souvenir Mercury transit 2019 certificate.

A small but heavy space rock was also on display.

The Astronomical Unit club sets up their telescopes monthly at several public sites. Tuesday night they will be back at the Camino Real Center, and Friday they will be at Westmont College near the observatory.

For more information go to : Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit

Article Topic Follows: Education
Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit

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John Palminteri

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