Mercury Transiting the Sun

Mercury Transiting the Sun

For the past week, the mornings had been foggy and overcast. If the weather pattern did not change, I would have to wait until 2049 because the 2032 and 2039 transits of Mercury will not be visible from North America.

When I saw blue skies this morning, I hurried outside to set-up my observation station. First, I used an Orion StarSeeker III 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope with an AstroSolar filter. Believe it or not, it is difficult to locate the sun because the sight is not usable. You cannot safely look at the sun through the sight. And, if I wore solar safety glasses, then the sight itself is not visible.

For the image below, I used a 300mm lens and a 2x teleconverter. With a wider field of view, it was easier to find the sun. The camera, lens and tripod were also a lot more stable so I had an easier time focusing on Planet Mercury. With the telescope, focusing was more challenging because of the vibration.

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