1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Mercury Transit Monday

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GingerCoffee, May 8, 2016.

    For those that don't know it, Mercury is going to transit the Sun Monday. This is from an astronomy buff I know from a different forum:

    "The planet Mercury will appear to transit the Sun on 2016 MAY 09 for the first time since 2006 and the last time until 2019. The transit will last over seven hours, and at least portions of it will be visible from almost everywhere except Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the islands between them.

    This is a telescopic event, but great care must be taken to protect eyes from instantaneous blinding. If uncertain, then view with someone who knows how to properly prepare a telescope with filters or project the image onto a screen.

    I’ve created preview charts for the event. One is from a geocentric perspective with Mercury appearing to traverse the Sun in a straight line. Another 44 are specific for various locations on the surface of the Earth. The Earth’s rotation results in an apparent curved path for Mercury. The parallax effect accounts for slightly different timings among the various locations.

    The charts can be viewed at www.CurtRenz.com/mertran.html"​

    I'll be using binoculars with a double layer of wielder's glass filter that I use to look at sunspots. If you decide to try to view it, be sure you know what you are doing in regards to Sun filters. If not you won't be able to look at the Sun and you'll miss it.

    Here on the left coast it will be in transit when the Sun rises and finish crossing about 11:30 am.

    A Mercury transit is less spectacular than a Venus transit. But the next Venus transit now won't be until 2117. Which is why I'm so ecstatic I got to see the last one.

    I may have mentioned this story, I tell it often. I literally chased a hole in the clouds when Venus transited. I was proud of myself for not giving up. I drove and drove and the hole just looked further away, but I kept going until I finally found a hole in the clouds. It was so worth it, Venus transit is mind boggling. I know Mercury will be nothing like it, but still, it's a friggin' planet and you are looking directly at it, not at light reflecting off it.
     
  2. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    That's awesome. :) I think I will skip watching it through a telescope though. It is typically counter indicated to look at a speck of space debris against a giant fusion furnace that can burn your retinas. None the less that is awesome, but I am sure there will be a safer way to watch the movement of a planet that is no bigger than Pluto. :p Awesome though. :supergrin:
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Bumping this because it's tomorrow. Sigh, it's 50:50 if the sky will be clear here tomorrow.

    As a bonus, if you have clear skies and it's dark where you are the aurora is visible quite a distance from the polls. There's a G3 storm right now and that's big!!!!
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I saw it!:superagree:

    Tiny, definitely telescope would be best but one can see it with binocs. There are still 4 hours of transit to go.
     

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