Watch Mercury make rare move across the sun

This composite image of observations by NASA and the ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory shows the path of Mercury during its November 2006 transit. On Monday, May 9, 2016, the solar system's smallest, innermost planet will resemble a black dot as it passes in front of the Sun. NASA says the event occurs only about 13 times a century. (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory/NASA/ESA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mercury has begun a relatively rare move across the sun.

The solar-planetary ballet got underway just after 7 a.m. on the east coast with the smallest planet appearing as a tiny black dot on the face of the sun. The transit will last for a total of about 7½ hours. The last time it happened was 2006. It will happen again three years from now, but then not until 2032. NASA says the event occurs only about 13 times a century.

The entirety of Mercury’s journey will be viewable to the eastern U.S. and Canada, as well as most of western Europe and South America.

To catch a glimpse, viewers need binoculars or telescopes with protective solar filters. Mercury’s journey can also be seen via a livestream on NASA’s website .

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