November 6th, 2006

moon

transit of mercury

Starting at 2006-11-08 19:12 UTC, there will be a transit of Mercury where Mercury passes between the Earth and the sun. For nearly five hours, there will be a small dark disk against the sun that will require a telescope (with proper solar filtration!) to see.

New Zealand is a fairly good place to observe this transit, as it begins at 08:12 and ends at 13:10 local time. I've taken the day off work and have my telescope and solar filter all ready to go. However, it looks like we may be thwarted by the weather as there is rain forecast throughout this week. Today it was cloudy all day and rained occasionally.

If we're lucky and have clear skies that day, I'll post some pictures. I should be able to get better pictures than my previous solar photography, because that picture was taken with my pocket digital camera held up to the telescope eyepiece. Now we have a T-adapter for Amy's Canon Rebel with which we can do prime focus photography (without an eyepiece). With that type of photography, the telescope attaches to the camera and becomes a really really long lens.