The Oklahoma City Astronomy Club is partnering with Scissortail Park to host a public viewing of a rare transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the Sun on the morning of Veterans Day, Monday, November 11. A viewing area will be set up at the Survivor Tree Lawn, located on the south end of the park near Union Station beginning at 6:30 a.m. The event will continue until noon.
“Mercury passes in front of the Sun approximately a dozen times each century, but the November 11 event will be the last one visible from North America until 2049,” said Mike Brake, Astronomy Club member. “The transit will already be underway when the sun rises at 7:01 a.m., will reach midpoint by about 9:20 and ends moments after noon.”
The inner-most planet in the solar system, Mercury features a small rocky body similar to Earth’s Moon, and orbits the Sun once every 99 days. During the transit, it will appear in filtered telescopes as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun.
Astronomy Club members will have telescopes with special solar filters on hand to allow safe viewing of the event. Brake cautions the public not to try to observe the sun at any time without such filters, to avoid possible permanent eye damage.
The new Scissortail Park is in the heart of a revitalized downtown Oklahoma City. This public space is part of the MAPS 3 program that envisions a healthy and vibrant quality of life for our city while serving
as an investment in the future. Every detail is designed for connection – with nature, neighbors and ourselves.
The park features a variety of engaging experiences within 70 urban acres ranging from ornamental gardens and woodlands, to a lake and boathouse, children’s playground, grand promenade, water features, outdoor roller rink, an enclosed dog park, interactive fountain and much more.
Designed by one of the foremost landscape architecture planning firms in the world, Hargreaves Associates, the park is also a horticultural tapestry of native prairie grasses, lush flower gardens and tree-lined walkways.
Scissortail Park is managed by Scissortail Park Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.