Mercury Transit 9/5/2016

I was made aware that there would be Mercury transiting in front of the Sun on 9/5/16. Hence both my wife and I took a day of annual leave just to witness this rare event – Mercury transit across the Sun only happens between 13 to 14 times per ┬ácentury. The next time this would happen would be 11/11/2019, and then 13/11/2032 after this.Unfortunately the skies were cloudy for most parts of the day. Hence there were times when the Sun was completely concealed. So while I managed to capture some images from the beginning of the transit, I was unable to capture any images after Mercury passed the middle of the Sun. But both my wife and I managed to visualise Mercury s a black dot on the surface of the moon, through a makeshift Solar binoculars (or rather monocular) – I had my Baader Solar film in front of one side of my 70mm binoculars, with the other side capped up to prevent light entering it.

Anyway, here are some of the images from yesterday. As you can see, I only managed to capture images through breaks in the cloud, so did not manage to capture Mercury making its way fully across the Sun. Just remember that Mercury is 150x smaller than the Sun.

Start of the Mercury Transit - Mercury just visible to the left edge
Start of the Mercury Transit – Mercury just visible to the left edge
Still at the edge
Still at the edge but more visible
Has moved further in to the Sun
Has moved further in to the Sun
Mercury transit - probably the best shot of the event
Mercury transit – probably my best shot of the event
Just past midway (my last image from the event)
Just past midway (my last image from the event) – taken through significant amount of cloud

 Despite the weather not being great for witnessing the transit of Mercury, it was still a great experience we had. The animated .gif below is made from the best 8 images of each of the phase of movement I managed to capture during the session.

Mercury Transit animated .gif
Mercury Transit animated .gif

Boon