What is a Transit?
A transit is the passing of one object in front of another (usually larger) object. For example Jupiter’s Moon Io passing in front of the planet itself, this is a transit. From Earth we only see Solar transits involving the inferior planets - Mercury & Venus, but we do see other transits like Moons passing in front of their host planets or eclipsing binary star systems where one passes in front of the other. A transit does however depend on where the observer is, so for example if you were standing on Mars you could see the Earth transiting the sun.
The 11th of November 2019 saw the planet Mercury pass in front of the Sun resulting in an event called a Solar Transit. This is an extremely rare event, the next Mercury transit is not until 2032. I took the above image during a public event with Worthing Astronomers on the south coast of England. The forecast on the run up to the day was looking dreadful and we all thought we would be clouded out. Thankfully the clouds thinned out and I managed to get some usable data. I used my Altair StarWave 70ED telescope with a Canon EOS 450D DSLR all hooked up to BackYardEOS for camera control. 1/320 shutter speed at ISO 100
It is fairly easy to image/view the Sun through a Solar filter. When trying to find the Sun, just like it is highly dangerous to look at the Sun without a filter - you should never try to find the sun with your finderscope or red dot finder as these methods will also blind you. The best way to find the Sun is to use the tube of your telescope. As it is round, the scope will cast an extended oval when not aligned with the Sun. When the telescope is aligned it will cast a perfectly round shadow on the ground. There are many more ways to safely find the sun in your scope and a simple Google search will pull up loads of results. One you have centred the sun it is just a matter of focusing and you’re good to go. You can either video the entire transit or take lots of single exposures and create a video that way or just use the single exposures as a still image. If taking single exposures you only need to take very short exposure lengths due to the brightness of the sun. Don’t worry about being ready before it begins - the transit will last for a good few hours so there is plenty of time to get your exposure and ISO sorted as it is beginning. As with the Lunar Eclipse back in January of 2019 I will be adding users images taken of the Mercury Transit to this page, so, after the event please send any image that you may have to: usersimages@paulsastrophotography.co.uk along with how the image was taken and with what equipment etc… Remember to copyright you image. Stay Solar-safe and have a fantastic time watching or imaging the Transit. When asking for a nice drawing representing the transit that I could use on the website the two pictures below were sent in. Very funny guys so I will name & shame.
How to view or Image the Mercury Transit?
MYLES GIBSON (MID 20s AND TOO YOUNG TO KNOW BETTER)
IAN SMITH (OLDER THAN MYLES SO SHOULD KNOW BETTER)

Mercury Solar Transit 11/11/2019

© Paul’s Astrophotography 2020
What is a Transit?
A transit is the passing of one object in front of another (usually larger) object. For example Jupiter’s Moon Io passing in front of the planet itself, this is a transit. From Earth we only see Solar transits involving the inferior planets - Mercury & Venus, but we do see other transits like Moons passing in front of their host planets or eclipsing binary star systems where one passes in front of the other. A transit does however depend on where the observer is, so for example if you were standing on Mars you could see the Earth transiting the sun.
It is fairly easy to image/view the Sun through a Solar filter. When trying to find the Sun, just like it is highly dangerous to look at the Sun without a filter - you should never try to find the sun with your finderscope or red dot finder as these methods will also blind you. The best way to find the Sun is to use the tube of your telescope. As it is round, the scope will cast an extended oval when not aligned with the Sun. When the telescope is aligned it will cast a perfectly round shadow on the ground. There are many more ways to safely find the sun in your scope and a simple Google search will pull up loads of results. One you have centred the sun it is just a matter of focusing and you’re good to go. You can either video the entire transit or take lots of single exposures and create a video that way or just use the single exposures as a still image. If taking single exposures you only need to take very short exposure lengths due to the brightness of the sun. Don’t worry about being ready before it begins - the transit will last for a good few hours so there is plenty of time to get your exposure and ISO sorted as it is beginning. As with the Lunar Eclipse back in January of 2019 I will be adding users images taken of the Mercury Transit to this page, so, after the event please send any images that you may have to: usersimages@paulsastrophotography.co.uk along with how the image was taken and with what equipment etc… Remember to copyright your image. Stay Solar-safe and have a fantastic time watching or imaging the Transit. When asking for a nice drawing representing the transit that I could use on the website the two pictures below were sent in. Very funny guys so I will name & shame.
How to view or Image the Transit
MYLES GIBSON (MID 20s UK)
IAN SMITH (OLDER THAN MYLES SO SHOULD KNOW BETTER)

Mercury Solar Transit 11/11/2019

The 11th of November 2019 saw the planet Mercury pass in front of the Sun resulting in an event called a Solar Transit. This is an extremely rare event, the next Mercury transit is not until 2032. I took the above image during a public event with Worthing Astronomers on the south coast of England. The forecast on the run up to the day was looking dreadful and we all thought we would be clouded out. Thankfully the clouds thinned out and I managed to get some usable data. I used my Altair StarWave 70ED telescope with a Canon EOS 450D DSLR all hooked up to BackYardEOS for camera control. 1/320 shutter speed at ISO 100
© Paul’s Astrophotography 2020