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Open Dome Event – A Black Drop on the Sun - The Mercury Transit

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Networking | Public lectures

This event anticipates the transit of Mercury on the 9th May. Mercury will move in front of the Sun, observable as a small moving black dot. Dr D Brown (NTU) and Mr M Chesney (Director of Backlit) will discuss this rare event and its role in artistic inspiration.

  • From: Thursday 28 April 2016, 7 pm
  • To: Thursday 28 April 2016, 10 pm
  • Location: CELS, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS
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Event details

Venus or Mercury moving in front of the Sun is a rare event that in the past has helped us determine distances within our solar system. Capturing these events has also inspired many artists.

On Monday 9th May, Mercury will move in front of the Sun and cause what is known as a transit. Dr D Brown (NTU) will explain what we have learned from similar transits. Using this as a starting point, Mr M Chesney (Director of Backlit) describes S Starling's 35mm video documentary Black Drop featuring the 2015 Venus transit. This talk will be followed by a brief introduction to what is visible in this month's sky.

Booking is required for this event. While attending, you consent to filming, photography, and sound recording – which may include you as a member of the audience – and its use in publication or advertising distribution, either printed or online, without payment or copyright.


The event will start at 8 pm with Dr D Brown (NTU) and Mr M Chesney (Director Backlit) presenting on the Mercury transit and Simon Starling's Black Drop video documentary. Refreshments will be offered from 7.45 pm in the CELS foyer. Afterwards, visitors will get a tour of the NTU observatory and the chance to see interesting objects in the spring sky using the observatory's telescopes, small telescopes and binoculars, if the weather allows it.

If the weather is not good, a small planetarium session will be offered in the observatory pointing out objects of interest.

Booking information

Booking is required for this event.

Entrance is free and available to everyone who is interested.

Location details




Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
NG11 8NS


Parking is available only for booked visitors in the Main Gate car park.

Past event

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