An incredibly rare astronomical event is set to take place today – and it's something that keen skywatchers in Chester definitely won't want to miss.

On Monday (May 9), a rare transit of Mercury will be visible when the planet passes directly between the Earth and the sun, appearing as a dark, silhouetted circle against the sun.

The transit, which only happens around 13 times a century, was last seen in 2006 and after today, will not be seen again until November 11, 2019.

Lasting for approximately seven hours, 28 minutes, the transit will be visible in Chester from Monday at around 12.12pm and end at 7.40pm.

Related : Tim Peake tweets picture of Chester from space

But if you're planning on looking out for it, be careful because anyone who stares directly at the sun risks permanent damage to their eyesight.

NASA have issued safety advice to stargazers, and suggests that those keen to watch it should contact local astronomy groups.

"Due to its diminutive size, viewing this event safely requires a telescope or high-powered binoculars fitted with solar filters made of specially-coated glass or Mylar," they stated.

Professor Martin Barstow, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: “It is always exciting to see rare astronomical phenomena.

"They show that astronomy is a science that is accessible to everyone, and I would encourage you to take a look if the weather is clear, but do follow the safety advice.”