On Wednesday, 8th November 2006, late in the night, Mercury will transit the Sun. This can be witnessed only for a few minutes on the 9th in some places of India like the North Eastern parts and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
This transit or passage of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare occurrence. Only the transits of Mercury and Venus are visible from the earth as their orbits lie inside that of the earth. They are the only planets that can pass between the Earth and the Sun to produce such a transit.
There will be approximately 13 transits of Mercury each century. The event on 8th November commences just past midnight at 24h42m., IST with Mercury entering the disc of the Sun. Technically this happens on the 9th November. The greatest moment would be at 27h.11m IST. Mercury will be leaving the disc of the Sun at 29h.41mIST.
This transit of Mercury will be widely visible from the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, Eastern Asia and Australia. The Americans would be able to witness the beginning of the transit and most of Asia and Australia would be able to see the end of the transit. Regions where the entire transit is visible include Western North America, Eastern Pacific, New Zealand, South Eastern Australia and Antarctica. The transit will not be visible in Europe, Africa, or Western Asia.
During the November transit, Mercury is near perihelion and exhibits a disc only 10 arc-seconds in diameter. This November transits recur at intervals of 7,13 or 33 years.The next transit of Mercury will occur on 9th May 2016 and will be visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Central Asia.
Those born under the moon sign of Libra, Leo, Gemini, Aries, Aquarius and Scorpio and those with Nakshatras like Mrigasira, Aridra, Punarvasu, Swati and Satabisha as well as those living in the vulnerable regions would be exposed to the adverse effects of this transit.