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Mercury Transit Imaging a Success:

The rare Mercury transit occurred today, and I was able to image the event. There were several opportunities for this event to be spoiled. For example, the weather was an issue early in the week as the jet stream was forecast to pull in a low pressure system directly into the Bay Area. Rain was predicted for today. Luckily the weather system was weak and the skies cleared up by 10:00 AM. Another obstacle was my work schedule - the busiest this year. I work as a photographer at the Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology and even though I had 4 doctors to deal with today and did 52 photographic procedures, I was able to capture some really nice image. Using my Solar telescope setup, I acquired over 5000 images. This will keep me busy for some time, but I pulled some images to demonstrate the movement of Mercury across the disk of the Sun. Notice the large sunspot on the left as well as some prominences that appear on the right and lower left edges of the Sun. Mercury is the tiny black dot near the bottom - traveling from left to right.

Mercury Transit 1


Mercury Transit 2


Mercury Transit 3


Mercury Transit 4


Mercury Transit 5


Mercury Transit 6


Mercury Transit 7


Mercury Transit 8

Portions of the middle of the transit were blocked by a large tree in the parking lot where I work, and the wind picked up toward the end of the transit.

Despite the issues with my schedule, a big tree and wind, I thoroughly enjoyed this event and I hope you enjoy these photos. Look for the "official" transit photos (meaning processed and enhanced) in the near future.


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