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The phenomenon of solar limb darkening – as gas near the edge of the sun is more opaque. In the modern day, transits are of little scientific value, but astronomers of centuries past would use them – particularly the transit of Venus – to estimate the distance between the planets and the sun. Given that transits of Mercury are reasonably rare many observers are keen to capture the moment as a keepsake. Mercury transits always occur in either May or November, with the latter being more frequent. Modern Mercury transits always occur in either May or November, with the latter being more frequent. The solar system’s smallest, innermost planet will resemble a black dot as it passes in front of our big, bright star on 9 May. Here, the planet appears elongated as if it is stretching back towards the edge of the sun. For mid-northern observers, the noon sun is still toward the south, but much higher in the sky than at the equinoxes. We’re still out there together. Make sure the motor still spins freely with the masking tape in place.

You should always make sure the filter is attached securely and hold it up to a light bulb before attaching, to check for any damage, such as pinholes, in order to protect your eyes. These telescopes have the filter built in and it is irremovable, making it a particularly safe option. An alternative to a solar filter is to project an image of the Sun through your telescope onto a piece of white card. Moving westwards, observers in China, India, the Middle East, most of Africa and Eastern Europe will be able to watch the majority of the transit, but the sun will set before Mercury leaves the sun’s disc. All About Space magazine’s Gemma Lavender reveals the best times to watch and how to capture the cosmic event. The further west your location is, the more of the 7.5-hour event you’ll have access to. Getting a good glimpse of the event will depend on your location. If you’re in a location where only part of the transit is visible, then you may be forced to view it close to the ground. While it has been happening for billions of years, it wasn’t seen until then due to the vast difference in size between Mercury and the sun – you’ll need a telescope in order to observe it.

Coronado telescopes, for example, allow to you see the sun in hydrogen-alpha, which means that it will appear orange/red. The word planet comes from the early Greeks and means “wanderer” or “wandering star”, and for obvious reasons. Mercury is the innermost planet of the solar system (pictured). If the sun were a clock face then Mercury (the black dot in the top left of the sun, pictured in 2006) will appear at number nine. Astronomers both amateur and professional alike are in for a treat on Monday as Mercury makes a rare transit of the sun. Today, they can simply be enjoyed by amateur astronomers as one of the sky’s natural spectacles. This time, the planet will appear just 12 arcseconds across, where one arcsecond is 1/3,600th of a degree. You can navigate through space and time, see all the planets in close-up, learn their trajectories, composition, surface temperature, history of their exploration, points of interest, and more. For comparison, the sun’s disc appears to us as approximately 1,900 arcseconds across, meaning Mercury will cover just 0.004 per cent of the sun’s surface area during its transit. Keen observers might notice the famous ‘black drop effect’ as Mercury dances onto the solar surface and reaches interior ingress.

The solar system’s smallest, innermost planet will resemble a black round dot (pictured) as it passes in front of our big, bright star on 9 May. If you already own a telescope then you can buy filters that fit onto the front end. The bulb then blinks to confirm the setting has been activated before fading to dark gradually. Now, our sunset/sun/rainbow projection floor lamp can provide such a beautiful sunset scene, so that you can also see the beautiful sunset at home, setting off the atmosphere. While the app is easy to use and the dimming, scheduling and color temperature settings work well, I do wish the app had a sunrise/sunset setting that automatically adjusted the schedule based on the time of year. But I am sure there are girls there mucking stalls, leading halters, and pushing brooms who rode for the time they put into work. We are seeking your help to stop a project that is important to all Floridians.

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