Transit of Mercury

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  • #574439
    Philip Jennings
    Participant

    Less than a week to go until the transit of Mercury!

    Although the copy deadline for the December Journal has now passed, I will be welcoming photos of the transit until the close of Nov 13 for consideration as a cover image for that issue.  Due to the small angular size of the planet on the solar disk, high-resolution imagery or a time series showing the transit progressing (e.g. ingress) would be of particular interest.  I appreciate that the deadline is a bit tight, but unfortunately this is necessary given the printing schedule.  If you have a great image but you can’t meet the deadline, I’d love to see it anyway and it will be considered for inclusion in the February issue.  Please send photos in jpg or tif format.

    Of course, I am expecting UK observers such as myself will probably be thwarted by cloud!  I’m based in Yorkshire, where I will hopefully be projecting the transit.  Interested to hear what plans are afoot.

    There is more detail regarding observing the transit on the website of course, in the Handbook and on p.253 of the current Journal.

    Good luck to all and clear skies!

    Phil (Journal Editor)

    #581558
    David Swan
    Participant

    Hello Philip,

    Thanks for letting us know. The weather forecast is dreadful for NE England unfortunately. But if I do get a good photo…

    David Swan

    #581559
    David Swan
    Participant

    The Hyperstar is out, secondary mirror in, focal reducer/corrector attached, telescope collimated & imaging of sun tested. Yes, I know where the north, south, east and west are now! Hope the weather cooperates…

    #581560
    Alan Thomas
    Participant

    I have set up my observing station, more in hope than expectation as the NW forecast is ‘cloudy changing to heavy showers’. To make the point, I was doused in hail as I opened up! Hopeful of at least the odd glimpse with a possibility of an image or two of the transit projected via my sun funnel. It’s now or never as 2032 will be a bit late for me…

    #581561
    Nick James
    Participant

    Lots of showers this morning and a load of clouds around. The seeing is awful and it is blowing a gale but I was lucky at first contact here in Chelmsford. Here is a frame from my video taken at 2019-11-11T12:37:33.

    Here’s the animated GIF of first and second contact.

    #581563
    Alan Thomas
    Participant

    Unrelenting cloud so I am watching a live feed here while awaiting a gap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzcmd_KQpEw

    #581562
    David Swan
    Participant

    Likewise, lots of cloud and very windy. Nightmare having to keep changing the exposure time in FireCapture. One frame – soon after ingress – with timestamp on image (the filename pertains to the avi).

    #581564
    David Swan
    Participant

    Ingress between clouds

    #581565
    Nick James
    Participant

    At 13:47:19. Is it an MD-11?

    #581566
    David Swan
    Participant

    A bit of fun – here’s what I was seeing on the laptop at and around the critical moment! https://youtu.be/-ZnLqdqZ73g

    #581567
    David Swan
    Participant

    It certainly appears to have winglets and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabiliser.

    #581568
    Stewart Moore
    Participant

    Heavy rain most of the morning with a brief glimpse of the Sun at 10:15.  Then clouded again and cloudy at first/ second contact with light rain falling.  Cloud became lighter at 12:45 but unable to get clean projection (62mm Zeiss Telementor).  Wind became too strong so gave up trying to project as telescope acting like a wind vane.  Then used 70mm f/6.0 refractor with Baader film filter. for direct viewing.  Suddenly cloud disappeared giving a nice image at 13:51.  Always surprised just how small Mercury appears in transit.  Watched for around 14 minutes before cloud returned.  By this time Sun was moving behind trees.  Considering the state of the weather this morning I feel satisfied to have at least seen part of the transit.  Sorry to have missed ingress though.

    #581569
    Alan Thomas
    Participant

    A few fleeting glimpses through racing cloud but even with an unstopped 200mm Dob, I could not get a projected image for more than the odd second. Ceased trying at 14.40 as the Sun descended behind nearby rooftops. As a last (fairly desperate!) attempt to record something, I retreated to an upstairs room and set up my little 50mm Meade refractor. But conditions even worse and I abandoned the session at 15.35 under a leaden darkening sky. Still, I have enjoyed following the live feed on the transit from the Slooh solar scope in the Canary Islands, as well as reading the other posts here. So by no means a wasted afternoon.

    #581570
    Alan Dowdell
    Participant

    The day was mainly clear right through to sun set, but of course it was cloudy for about 10 minutes at ingress. So Mercury not seen until well into the transit. Cant have everything. 

    #581572
    Jack Martin
    Participant

    Canon EOS400D 1/15 sec ISO 400 Skywatcher Evostar 100 ED. Herschel wedge white light.

    Many thanks to Abi for the use of her refractor.  

    Regards to all,

    Jack

    Essex UK

    #581571
    Paul Leyland
    Participant

    Clouded out.  8-(

    #581574
    David Swan
    Participant

    There are some nice images of the event captured by the atmospheric imaging assembly of the solar dynamics observatory here:

    https://mercurytransit.gsfc.nasa.gov/2019/

    #581576
    Philip Jennings
    Participant

    Thanks!  Some cracking results on this thread.  I forgot to mention in my first post by the way that drawings of the transit are very welcome as well as photos (obviously to send to Paul Abel/Chris Hooker as well as me!).

    I had very little success here in Malton, but the clouds did clear for about 5 minutes at 13:40 UT and I was able to see and very clumsily photograph the transit by projection using a folded refractor.  Unfortunately the dog picked up on my excitement at this moment, and by the time I had persuaded him to lick neither my face nor the objective lens the clouds had once again set in.  Of course, it became beautifully clear just after sunset!

    I didn’t have time to get a detailed drawing, but I did briefly notice some faculae – did anyone else see this in white light?

    Philip

    #581577
    Peter Carson
    Participant

    Here’s my image of the transit using a Motorola phone held over the eyepiece of BAA member Dave Smith’s 75mm refractor.

    #581578
    David Swan
    Participant

    I am pleased to hear you observed the transit, Philip. The weather over the UK is not settled at the moment! My basic set-up was not up to showing the more subtle features on the solar disc, but I’m sure we’ll see drawings and images filtering through over the next few days that corroborate your obs. There certainly has been a dearth of sunspot activity in the past weeks! I just had to focus on the edge of the disc and hope for the best.

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