Mercury will make a rare pass directly between the Earth and the sun on Monday.
It will appear as a small black dot at the edge of the sun about 7:12 a.m. and slowly cross the sun’s face over the next 7 1/2 hours, reaching the other side at 2:42 p.m., according to NASA.
Such transits of Mercury, as the phenomenon is known, occurs about 13 times a century. This one will be the first since 2006 and the last until 2019.
“Scientifically, it’s not important as it was centuries ago,” said Nancy Chabot, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel and an instrument scientist on NASA’s Messenger mission to...