Transit of Mercury

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Alex Pratt

Clear blue sky all day in Leeds, so one consideration was trying not to get sunburnt.

I monitored the transit (with my 102mm apo refractor and QHY mono camera) from before first contact up to shortly after 7pm when local rooftops intervened, then quickly transferred to an 80mm refractor set up near the front of the house to follow the last phases. Mercury looked like a tiny ball-bearing in silhouette against the Sun. Seeing wasn’t very good and it was tricky to achieve good focus.

The resident blackbirds weren’t happy that my presence was stopping them from accessing the birdbath, and some wasps took a long-term interest in my laptop computer.

The sunny weather brought back happy memories of observing the 2004 transit of Venus from Cyprus – and as I did on that occasion, had a beer at mid-event.