The Transit of Mercury


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 sky.

Follwing communications 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 right corner

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.

Solar Observations

Transit of Mercury November 15th 1999

Annular Eclipse May 7th 2003


Bucharesti 1999 . ............... Zimbabwe 2001


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