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Watch Mercury's transit of the sun in real time

The planet passes between the Earth and the sun only 13 times every century. Today is one of those times.

Tiny planet Mercury is seen in silhouette, lower left, as it transits the face of the sun.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Mercury is making a rare pass between Earth and our closest star on Monday.

It's dangerous to directly observe the sun, but thanks to NASA, anyone with an Internet connection can watch the phenomenon.

The agency is providing a near-live stream of Mercury's seven-and-a-half-hour passage throughout the day. The event is taking place Monday between 4:12 a.m. and 11:42 a.m. PT. Those in Western Europe and some parts of the United States with a properly filtered telescope will be able to see Mercury's journey in its entirety.

Mercury passes between the Earth and the sun only about 13 times every century. Its last such trek was in 2006, and the next transits will take place in 2019 and 2032.