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Mercury Putting On Rare Show Monday, Parading Across the Sun

An American flag is silhouetted as the planet Mercury is seen, lower left quadrant, transiting across the face of the sun in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 9, 2016.

Mercury is putting on a rare celestial show next week, parading across the sun in view of most of the world.

The solar system's smallest, innermost planet will resemble a tiny black dot Monday as it passes directly between Earth and the sun.

Unlike its 2016 transit, Mercury will score a near bull's-eye this time, passing practically dead center in front of the sun.

The entire 5 -hour event will be visible, weather permitting, in the eastern U.S. and Canada, and all Central and South America. The rest of North America, Europe and Africa will catch part of the action. Asia and Australia will miss out.

Telescopes or binoculars with solar filters are recommended. Mercury's next transit isn't until 2032.