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Author Topic: This morning's Transit of Mercury  (Read 390 times)

Stoker

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This morning's Transit of Mercury
« on: November 11, 2019, 03:44:02 pm »
Hasn't happened for the last three and a half years, and won't happen again for another 13 years, in 2032, so it really isn't all that common of a celestial event. To see the whole thing I would have needed to be a few thousand miles further east, east of the Mississippi River at least, or in South America which had a good view of the whole event. But alas, here in the Eastern Sierra, only a couple of hundred miles east of the west coast, all I got to see what the the second half, having risen above the horizon here within a few minutes of reaching the mid-sun position.

Still, I did get to see a little more than half of it, and other than thick low angle atmosphere and focus distortions from being near ground features early on, I did get a decent showing here.

Sun just breaking above the glacial moraine about a mile distant, which forms the morning horizon from my house this time of year, with solar filter off.
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First shot of whole sun with solar filter on, Mercury is micro-dot just below left of center, focus not crisp due to ground effect heat waves and thick atmosphere at this low of an angle.
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Mercury nearing solar disc center with much higher power of magnification, no edges of the sun are seen in this image, but only the edges of the eyepiece.
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Followed by a return to a more reasonable magnification showing the whole sun again.
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Then seen starting to near the edge of the sun.
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Finally bumping up against the suns rim and completing its transit.
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Just goes to show how incredibly large is our Sun, and how infinitesimally small are the planets ... and our Sun isn't even anything like a truly big star!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
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CBWho

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 06:52:07 pm »
The first image with the white globe rising above the clouds. Is that the viewfinder we are seeing. Visually stunning.

Stoker

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 08:42:27 pm »
Actually those are not clouds, but rather strongly backlit sagebrush on the crest of the glacial moraine about a mile away, as viewed through the main scope with the solar filter off.
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

classixs

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2019, 04:03:05 am »
Fantastic pictures Daniel !

Never attempted anything like this, so i wondered...
Are you just using a standard camera with a solar filter attached, or is it done through a telescope or similar?
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Stoker

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2019, 11:40:23 am »
Howdy Jan

I have a couple of different telescopes that I use, but for yesterday's transit of Mercury I used an Orion 127mm Mak-Cass, mostly with a Celestron 26mm Plossl eyepiece, though I also briefly used an Orion 15mm & 9mm Plossl for greater magnification (and distortion too), but only included one such photo. The photo images were captured with my old beat-up Canon A1100is pocket digital camera, that has way too many miles on it, just holding it loosely in position over the eyepiece on a macro setting, and wiggling it around until some sort of image appears, then trying to squeeze off the shutter without any undue movement. Not ideal, nor even close to adequate .... but sometimes it sort of works. The 26 mm eyepiece allowed me to frame the entire Sun with a little room to spare, thus allowing a good visual size comparison, and perhaps the most distortion free image, though I was getting plenty of atmospheric distortion due to the low sun angle and the proximity of rapidly heating ground surface throughout the foreground for at least the nearest few miles.

Yes, there was most definitely a solar filter on the telescope, except for the very first image of the Sun just coming over the glacial moraine. I had hoped to next capture an image where you could see Mercury on the face of the Sun, and still see the top of the moraine, but for the few seconds when that was possible, I couldn't get the camera into the correct position to get a proper focus. Oh well .... better luck next time ...  ;c)
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

Nick

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2019, 11:46:49 am »
Very neat Daniel  8)
Nick

classixs

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 12:09:10 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Daniel...eventhough i might have to do a bit of Googling, to grasp everything said  8)
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RedRyder

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2019, 07:01:52 pm »
Thanks for sharing this, Daniel.  Great stuff....on a cosmic scale..!!!!

Roscoe

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2019, 08:10:57 am »
Nice shots Daniel, always fascinated with the universe. Just goes to show us we are only a spec in the infinite time & space in which we excist.
John

MasonvilleEngines

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Re: This morning's Transit of Mercury
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2019, 12:32:17 pm »
Messing with my nephew...used your pic.

 

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