Transit of Mercury

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  • #577365
    Mark Jones
    Participant

    Another mobile phone image taken at 16:48 UT yesterday from near Leamington Spa. Skywatcher 100ED, 25mm eyepiece, solar disc projected on to white card and brightness/contrast adjusted with software. Seeing was reasonable but intermittent cloud cover and a gusting wind led to fun and games and much cursing.

    #577368
    Paul G. Abel
    Participant

    Spelndid day here in Leicetser- although intially very cloudy, the skies cleared in time.  Pete Lawrence and myself were able to view the entire transit, starting before 1st contact and finishing with 3rd and 4th contact (although these last two were observed through the trees!)  Pete got lots of images/videos and I got quite a few sketches both in white light and H-alpha.

    A splendid day!

    -Paul

    #577370
    Nick James
    Participant

    Thanks for all the images. It’s good to see that the transit was well seen around the country. I’ll be using these in my Sky Notes at the BAA meeting on the 25th.

    I’ve made a small composite of frames I shot at ingress. These were the best single frames that I could find in a video which redefines the term “atrocious seeing!”.

    Nick.

    #577371
    David Basey
    Participant

    Below is a composite inage of the transit – with a twist.

    The twist is that the images were taken with a 80mm refractor on an alt-az mount. Therefore the line of the “Mercurys” follows what an earth bound observer watching the transit saw as Mercury passed in front of the sun with the Earth rotating on it’s axis. The idea for this came from the display in Xavier Joubier’s page that Nick James highlighted in the first post.

    The composite runs from 11:15-16:45 in 15m intervals until clouds finally intruded.

    I am old enough to remember the last transit of Mercury that occured on May 9th – 1970. It was pretty clear then too. Best of all it was a Saturday and I did not have to go to school! The next May 9th transit visible from the UK is not until 2095. I doubt I’ll make it!

    #577369
    Alex Pratt
    Participant

    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.

    Cheers,

         Alex.

    #577374
    Nick James
    Participant

    That’s really nice David. I had wondered about the plot on Xavier’s page. Great to see that it really was like that!

    #577375
    Pete Lawrence
    Participant

    As Paul Abel said above, we were blessed in Leicester with good weather throughout most of the transit. I’m very grateful he gave up his garden to my tiny collection of scopes.

    I’ve been cherry picking some images over the last day or so but have now gone back to the start – determining first contact for h-alpha. Here’s what I’ve determined so far…

    http://www.digitalsky.org.uk/Gallery/transit-of-mercury-2016/images/large/2016_05_09_Determining_H_alpha_First_Contact_ToM.jpg

    Pete L

    #577376
    Pete Lawrence
    Participant
    #577377
    Pete Lawrence
    Participant
    #577378
    Pete Lawrence
    Participant
    #577379
    Pete Lawrence
    Participant

    Finally (for the moment), here’s a close up of the ingress in h-alpha. This was my favourite part of the transit…

    http://www.digitalsky.org.uk/Gallery/transit-of-mercury-2016/images/large/2016_05_09_111229_Ha_QuarkCS_ToM.jpg

    #577380
    Jimmy Fraser
    Participant

    I was very fortunate to have clear skies all day at Alness, Easter Ross. Hope to have the same weather (and still be here!) on May 7th 2049 when there is a virtual repeat of this transit. I used my old Vixen Custom 90M + EOS M3 to take images.

    #577381
    Nick James
    Participant

    Pete – Very nice pics as usual. Paul’s garden must have been stuffed with ‘scopes!

    #577382
    Nick James
    Participant

    James, Looks like you had a really good view from the north of Scotland. This 1700 UTC Eumetsat image just shows how much of a north-south divide there was.

    #577383
    Dr James Dawson
    Participant

    Finally managed to find the time (many hours) to get my head around PhotoShop (with help from David Basey) to make a composite image of my images showing the transit from Monday, as view from Nottingham. It was blowing a gale here and there was intermittant heavy cloud, but I was taking an image every 20 seconds during the transit so have managed to find a reasonable image about every 15 minutes which I’ve superimposed onto the first image where Mercury just starts to take a bite out of the Sun. I’ve had to crop the planet everso slightly as the background intensity of the Sun differed grealy between the images, so the planet too perfectly round I’m afaraid, but its position is as close I could get it using the whole face of the Sun to position each one; I suspect the slight wobble on the planets track is due to movement in my set up and camera in the gale, but I felt this was more realistic than making a false straight line which my data doesn’t support. I’ve nearly given up with the time lapse video as the cloud after the first five hours just makes stacking the frames nearly impossible, but if I can face wasting another 6 hours on it I will try again.

    James

    #577388
    Simon White
    Participant

    Better late than never!  Here’s my timelapse video of the first 3 hours imaged from my back yard in Kendal.

    Nikon D90 on Altair Wave 115/805 on AZ-EQ6 polar aligned the previous night.

    1,887 frames at 10 frames per minute, cropped in CameraRaw, aligned and cropped again in PIPP, final crop (“digital zoom”) in Photoshop then rendered to video at 30 frames per second.  

    https://vimeo.com/166198298

    Story of the capture here https://simoninthelakes.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/mercury-transit/

    #577389
    Robin Leadbeater
    Participant

    Nick said: “I wonder what people would have thought back in 2003 when we had the last transit of Mercury if you had told them that in 2016 we’d be taking pictures like this with a mobile phone!”

    Ha! Us webcammers of 2003 would have scoffed at your technology 😉

    http://www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk/astro/astro_image_40.htm

    This time I was on holiday in Malta and despite various attempts, failed to make contact with any astronomers there so missed it. Thanks to everyone who posted images here !

    Robin

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