Monday, May 9, 2016

1569d 2016/05/09

1569d 2016/05/09 07:08–14:55  EDT Foxmead observatory 9 28cmsc

Transit of Mercury

As usual, missed first contact by a few seconds, but had a fine view of second contact with 279mm SCT @70x with Kendrick Baader filter. Seeing poor but transparency good. Temperature = +1°C.

No sign of "black drop" at second contact: just a clean crisp tiny black disk against the Sun's limb.

Michael Watson has just posted a nice image of Mercury and the sunspot group near the centre of the disk:
Michael Watson's image

09:00–09:10: Mercury is now well onto the Sun's disk, but the seeing has deteriorated badly, with vast ripples across the face of the Sun. Temperature = +4°C.

10:00–10:10: I can now see the two small sunspots about half way between the large suspot group and Mercury. Temperature = +6°C.

12:55–13:05: I've had a number of visitors drop by to view the transit: Lorna Bolden, Pam and Allen King, Dave Wilkins, and Gord Michener. Plus, of course, my wife Louise and our cat Furr. Mercury has now moved over, closing on the opposite limb of the Sun. Temperature = +9°C.

04:25–14:55: Third contact at 14:37:55, Fourth contact at 14:41:05. Again, no black drop seen. Temperature = +10°C.

Michael Watson's collage of the transit sums it up beautifully: