Mercury Transit

  Mercury Transit 7.5. 2003, as observed from the University of Sussex campus, by (Klaus-) Peter Schroeder
  Not only was the UK in a favourable place to observe this Mercury transit, there was even a lot of sunshine around in southern england. Here, at the University of Sussex Astronomy Centre, a number of students and staff gathered between lectures to observe the event.
  This webpage gives an overview of the photos taken from on-campus. With conventional film (Agfa Ortho 25), see an overview of the transit from 6.42 UT, Mercury passing a large sunspot at some distant, taken with 2m focal length and 1/250 sec through my 7" f/6 Maksutov Newtonian and a solar filter foil with density D=3.8 (1:6300). Next, see Mercury one hour later (7.42UT) at larger magnfication (f=3m). Both these fotos were taken through thin cirrus clouds, and the high contrast of the film helped compensate the loss of contrast by the hazy looking sky.
Finally, three fotos are schown of the egress, approximately taken at UT 10.20, 10.25, and 10.30, with a digital camera (Camedia 4040) and my own amateur telescope, a home-made 7" f/6 Maksutov-Newtonian (with optics from INTES), using a Baader photographic solar filter with density 3.8 (in front of the aperture), afocal with a 4.5mm LV eyepiece, 100ASA setting and a 1/800 sec exposure. The attached pictures show only a very small fraction of the solar disk, and about 1/3 of the original field of view. The resolution comes closer to that of the telescope optics, as the seeing improved a lot towards the egress. Supposedly, the onset of a cool sea breeze helped to reduce the hot air bubbles rising from the ground.


  Last update: May 18, 2003
Author: Klaus-Peter Schroeder, e-mail to: