The Transit of Mercury

Nov. 8, 2006

: The planet Mercury passed in front of the Sun on Wednesday, Nov. 8th--a rare transit visible from the Americas, Hawaii and all around the Pacific Rim: full story.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location, Date Larger images Comments


Earth orbit
Nov. 08

#1, movie

Japan's Hinode spacecraft used its Solar Optical Telescope to capture a 0.2-arcsecond resolution movie of Mercury transiting the sun. See also the X-ray Transit of Mercury.

Pat Stoker,
Anaheim, CA
Nov. 8
#1, #2

The image was taken aprox. 5 mins before 1st contact. From the charts I downloaded from, it looked like there was a good chance that the planet would be close to the prominence on the southeastern limb. So I set the camera for a prom exposure and sure enough I saw the first contact and eventually the whole disk. It was very cool, and the transit hadn't even started yet. The setup was a Takahashi Sky 90 equipped with a Solar Spectrum 0.2Ang H-Alpha filter and a Skynyx 2-1 CCD camera.

Becky Ramotowski,
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Nov. 08
#1, more

A very young astronomer (Ryan Dunn) was helping out with the days activities and manning the Solar viewer and expertly explaining the details and dynamics of today's transit to the public.(Ryan Dunn is pictured left and Trent Kitts is on the right.) The Albuquerque Astronomical Society set us various types and sizes of properly filtered scopes for the public and students to view the transit through.

Les Marczi,
Point Pelee Ontario, Canada
Nov. 08

Photo details: Canon Rebel DSLR and C9.25'f/10 Schmidt-Cassagrain telescope.

Terry Mann,
West Manchester, Ohio
Nov. 08

The clouds were so thick that I did not think I was going to be able to see anything. Finally a small break in the clouds allowed me to see the transit. The big sunspot on the limb made it even more dramatic.

Hong Kong Hung Hom
Nov. 09

I took this photo during sun-rise. My equipments are only a DC and a pair of binoculars. The most natural solar filter(dust in air) has been used. Hope you like it!

Jon Troxel,
South Portland, Maine
Nov. 8

Watercolor of the transit. (Image was from the National Solar Observatory.)

Dennis Mammana,
Borrego Springs, California, USA
Nov. 08
#1, more

This sequence of Mercury's rare transit across the sun was shot every ten minutes on November 8, 2006. The planet's silhouette can be seen moving from left (11:10 a.m. PST) to right (1:41 p.m. PST) in front of the sun's brilliant photosphere. The sunspot just rounding the sun's limb on the left is many times larger than the Earth. Mercury's next transit of the sun occurs in 2016.

Photo details: Canon 20D attached to an 80mm University Optics refractor; ISO 100, f/6, 1/320-second exposure.

Mike Strieber,
Las Vegas, NV
Nov. 8, 2006
#1, #2

Photo details: White light image: FS-102 and a Herschel Wedge. H-alpha image: SolarMax 60DS.

more images: from Willard Brinegar of Champaign, Illinois; from Mila Zinkova of San Francisco, California; from Masa Nakamura of Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken, Japan; from Lee Langford of Farmton, Volusia County, Florida; from Tom Murdic of Franklin, Tennessee;

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