Local astronomers witness rare Mercury transit

Jason Hawk | Civitas Media

Telescopes capture the transit of the planet Mercury across the sun’s face early Monday on Oberlin’s Tappan Square. The Black River Astronomical Society gathered there to watch the rare event. For David Lengyel of Wellington, a former Amherst teacher who runs the Oberlin College Observatory and Planetarium, seeing the transit was the culmination of a longtime dream. For decades he’s tried to catch a glimpse of the small black dot traversing the sun, only to be foiled by cloud cover. Not so Monday, when the planet could easily be spotted.