The planet Mercury will pass in front of the Sun, which astronomers call a "transit." Mercury's shadow will be visible for five hours as a small, dark circle that moves across the Sun. This is a rare celestial event; the next Mercury transit won't be until November 13, 2032. 

Join us to observe the transit of Mercury using our safe solar telescopes. Our staff will be there to help you use our telescopes and answer questions about Mercury, planets, and more.


  • Telescopic observing is free and open to the public
  • This event is weather permitting. See the Welcome Center or call 202.633.2517 for updates
  • We are accessible via ramps or steps
  • The Museum will be closed when the event begins; come straight to the Observatory dome, on the terrace along Independence Avenue near 4th Street SW



Astronomy Solar System Telescopes
How to attend

Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory