You don’t have to wait for years to watch Mercury crossing the sun if you missed NASA’s livestream earlier. The agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured the planet’s transit across the star’s fiery surface on film and has even uploaded a time-lapse video of the images on YouTube. SDO is the same spacecraft NASA launched in 2010 to study the sun’s magnetic field. The celestial event occurred on May 9th, from 7:12 AM to 2:42 PM Eastern, and it only happens around 13 times every century.
Scientists are hoping that the data they gathered during the transit can help them better understand Mercury’s thin atmosphere. Even if you don’t care about their scientific findings, it’s still fun watching a teensy circle zooming across your screen with a gigantic ball of fire in the background.