- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois State University Planetarium is inviting the public to a weekend program to learn about a rare passage of Mercury across the face of the sun that will take place Monday.

The planet closest to the sun will appear as a small black dot moving across its face in an event known as the “transit of Mercury.” It will happen again in 2019. After that, the next transit won’t be visible from North America until 2049.

The planetarium in Normal will host an hour-long presentation at 3:30 p.m. Saturday to discuss the event and ways to safely view it.

On Monday, planetarium staff will take part in a public viewing session between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Bloomington Parks & Recreation Department’s Tipton Park north unit.

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