Mercury transit

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brian livesey
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Mercury transit

Post by brian livesey »

Will it or won't it stay clear for the Mercury transit on May 9th? The last transit was frustrating to say the least, and without resorting to good old English expletives.
It was a nice, warm, sunny day with a big blue sky, with what seemed to be an innocuous strip of white cloud, looking like a wide jet trail, in the west.
A small refractor was set up with a homemade projection box. Everything seemed perfect, but, as transit time approached, the inevitable happened. The strip of white cloud drifted across the Sun, blocking it out, and and it stayed there for the whole of the transit and beyond. :cry:
Last edited by brian livesey on Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mike a feist
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by mike a feist »

7th May 2003 . Previous Transit of MERCURY. Thin cirrus persisted throughout the morning here but " this was not apparently detrimental to observation of the transit." We used the 12" Camera Obscura at the Foredown Tower + High Power Viewer to project the image onto a vertical screen from about 0617BST until the the Sun was too high. Then we used a 3" scope outside in the grounds, projecting an image into a box. It was followed until 1132 BST -really from start to finish. This was 13 years ago - the typical gap between two May Transits.
(BUT The second of the two Transits of Venus was lost to cloud at sunrise and saw zilch! )regards maf
Brian
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by Brian »

Long ago and far away - or so it seems now. From my notebook 7 May 2003:

"Up at 05.00 BST for the transit of Mercury. 102mm f/5 and x2 barlow. Baader Astrosolar film full aperture filter. Toucam Pro webcam with IR block and Baader Contrast Booster filters."

" First contact 06.13 BST missed due to low cloud in the east. Light too poor for imaging through the Baader Astrosolar film until 06.55 BST. Followed the transit through to last contact at 11.33 BST"

Image montage from time of egress:
Transit Mercury 7May2003
Transit Mercury 7May2003
Mercury_egress_comp-20030507.jpg (36.49 KiB) Viewed 2536 times
Brian
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brian livesey
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by brian livesey »

That's a neat sequence of transit images Brian. What results would we get in a H-a solar 'scope do you think?
Would Mercury still show as an inky black disc, as in white light mode?
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Mogget
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by Mogget »

I have never seen Mercury, so this would be a good time to correct that. The transit of Venus on 2004 June 8 was easily observed from my home town of Ulverston.
brian livesey
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by brian livesey »

Everything went well in the North-West for the Venus transit. A small refractor was used, capped with a BAADER solar filter.
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Brian
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by Brian »

Hi Brian. Thanks for the comments. Most of my 2003 Mercury transit images suffered from being shot through variable thin cloud and the resulting quality is rather poor but at least I got something :D

According to web sources the transit will be visible in H-alpha. The planetary disc will be a zone of absence of light and so it will appear black against any brighter background. Should be some opportunity to image the planet against any convenient prominences when it is close to the limb, ingress and egress,

Regards,
Brian
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Mogget
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by Mogget »

Everything went well in the North-West for the Venus transit. A small refractor was used, capped with a BAADER solar filter.
I simply used a Solar Eclipse viewer (a decent CE certified one), and the "black dot" was very easy to see.
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Re: Mercury transit

Post by Vega »

I too am hoping for clear skies throughout as I've booked the day off. I still got my baadar solar filter that I bought for the solar eclipse last year so everything's good to go. :)

If the clouds are naughty.. there's always a live webcast to save the day. Lets hope we don't need it!
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