Transit of Mercury - Nov 8, 2006


This photograph shows the progress of the tiny planet Mercury as it passed between the Sun and Earth. Only Mercury and Venus can do this for those of us that live on planet Earth. This kind of event is called a transit and is fairly rare. Mercury transits occur about 13 times each century.

I set up my telescope on a tracking mount and took images every 2 minutes from a little before 1st contact to a little after 4th contact. The sun was getting pretty low in the sky toward the end of the event so I only used images for the first 4 hours for this composite photograph taken at 10 minute intervals. Notice that the sun rotated enough during those 4 hours to smear the sunspots.

Photographer: Rick Scott
Date: November 8, 2006
Camera: Canon EOS 20D digital camera
Lens: Home-made 10 inch f/4.63 Lurie Houghton Telescope
Mount: Losmandy G-11 equatorial
Exposure: 9 x 60 seconds
Camera Mode: ISO 800 RAW
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 for RAW conversion, processing, and stacking

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Updated: September 29, 2015