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Media Advisory

Date: November 6, 2006
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College Astrophysicist to Host Public Viewing of Transit of Mercury

Wednesday, November 8
2 p.m. until sunset (around 5 p.m.)
Montgomery College-Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
Top Deck of College's Parking Garage, Fenton and King Streets
Silver Spring, Maryland

The transit or passage of a planet across the face of the sun is a relatively rare occurrence. On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the planet Mercury will pass in front the sun, as seen from the Earth. This astrological phenomenon was last seen in 2003; the next one will not occur until 2016.

Dr. Harold A. Williams, planetarium coordinator and adjunct professor at Montgomery College, will host a public viewing of the Transit of Mercury on the roof of the Montgomery College-Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus parking garage, located at Fenton and King Streets in Silver Spring, Maryland. Students, amateur and professional astronomers, and members of the community of all ages are invited to participate in the viewing.

If it is a clear afternoon, Dr. Williams will have several telescopes, box viewers, and projection viewers available for the public to use to watch the event. If it is cloudy or raining, Internet-connected computer projections will be set up on the first floor of the parking garage.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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