The Transit of
Having witnessed the
tranist of Mercury in 1973, and then again as seen on this site
in November 1999 from Death Valley. The opportunity to view it
again in the UK could have course not be missed.
With great care I managed
to juggle the opportunity of a day off, and then decided to try
my luck at guessing the weather. From all my options it looked
as if the South East of england had the best chance of a clear
with Martin Frey I met up in Appledore Kent , and we went expl,oring
for a site which would suit me for both observing, and being able
to set the tent up the day before.
A small patch of ground
behind a campsite in Appledore seemed the best option, and with
suitable negotiations with the farmers son, and agreement was
come to which allowed me not only to camp, and set up, but to
run power from the chicken shed. All this and only three minutes
from the pub was as close to perfect as can usually be done.
Come the morning there
was some low cloud on the horizon, the view however over Romney
Marsh was ideal. It was possible to get the start of the transit
in white light, but it was too dark for H alpha at this time.
All set up the day
before, and hoping for fine weather.
View over Romney Marsh
showing clouds on the horizon at sunrise.
As the sun rose higher
I also managed to get the new Calcium K line filter working, along
with the Halpha, but then I had camera and PC problems, so I just
moved a single camera between the scopes, and filters, and tried
to get a few images.
Whilst not easy to
see at this size, Mercury is there - honest! it is in the bottom
Here is an image using
the Vixen 80mm refractor with 2.5x powermate and viewed using
the Daystar Calcium K line filter
Here is the view in
H alpha including the disappearance of Mercury. Imagied using
the FS128 and Daystar 0.5 ATM filter.
Here is a small animation
showing th end of the transit.
Transit of Mercury November 15th 1999
Annular Eclipse May 7th 2003
1999 . ...............
the Sun ...