Saturday, 14 May 2016

Transit of Mercury 9th May

In true fashion it was predominantly cloudy here in the West Midlands for mondays transit of Mercury, however by early evening the cloud had thinned sufficiently to a mere thick haze to allow some views of the event.  I decided to use the Airylab 203mm HaT to get view of the event, knowing that regardless of what the seeing conditions were I would be getting maximum resolution.  Through the eyepiece, even with the haze, the views were stunning; Mercury sat quite clearly above the solar disk, looking considerably blacker than the back ground sky.  Using a 32mm plossl eyepiece gave me a view at 175x magnification, and looking carefully it was quite easy to see the movement of the planet relative to features on the solar disk.  I took some images which came out better than I expected, and managed to get an animation that shows the passage over 12 minutes.  Taken with a Daystar Quark and the PGR BLackfly GigE IMX249 camera.