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ringz

Mercury Transit preparation

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I'm getting things together equipment I'm going to need for the 9th May transit. I already have a Baader Continuum filter but need a solar filter.

I have a Celestron C6 and a Skywatcher Startravel 102 and need to know which scope will give me the best view so I can get the right size filter.

Martyn.

Edited by ringz

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I use a 70mm refractor to observe the sun (with safety filters in place). I do use a Hershel wedge which gives better views over the solar film. Either or will do. Also, dont be too worried about using a high magnification EP for the transit. You wont see any detail on the planet obviously. The Sun appears as the same size as a full moon in the sky. With a transit (this is a 7 hour event), you really want to be seeing the wider image, so i'm thinking an EP somewhere in the 10-15mm will be enough. 

My prep will be attaching my camera (450D) to my 70mm scope and taking a few images of the sun, so on the day i will know exactly what works. I'm just afraid that my little scope wont be able to deal with the weight of everything (camera,wedge) on the business end of it. 

 

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I'm looking at taking my SW ED 80 or the ETX into school, cloud cover permitting we can view the video feed from the scope on the laptop.  I used the ETX for the solar eclipse last year and it worked quite well.  To be honest,I think whatever scope you find easiest to set-up and handle would be better.

 

Jim

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Essentially you'll be looking at a small, black dot drifting across the face of a brilliant star - under proper filtration. Unless you get your hands on a solar-type telescope (£££) - no detail will be visible on either the Solar-disk or Mercury.

You don't mention attempting to image this rare phenomena. So I'll presume you'll be doing this visually only - assuming the weather cooperates. So I'd suggest the scope won't matter much. So I'd get whichever size of filter will fit the telescope you'd prefer to use for using observing Sun from now on. Make it your dedicated Solar-Scope. I intend to use my ST80 F/5 refractor - also without any imaging gear on board.

I'd suggest you try out your filter prior to the transit, so you'll know what to expect, and iron out any bugs that could crop up.

Happy Black Dot!

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont

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hmmmm... I made a very long, 2m pinhole projector to view this, but I'm starting to have doubts about it. When I tested it, the sun was about an inch in diameter, and I think I only just saw a sunspot.

If not I've always got my 5" and 8" reflectors, though that'll mean I need more solar filter.

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I am looking forward to that event too! I have taken a day off work :-) I will be planning a public outreach day in Ayr using equipment such as a simple DIY sun projector to the monster Lunt 152. Fingers crossed for good weather!! 

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I guess it will be the Startravel 102 then as that's easier to fix up to use the 2" filter.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Martyn.

Edited by ringz

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A few in our group have taken the day off for this and to meet up locally. Am planning to use my Evolution mount with a Equinox 80 and Lunt wedge, probably the Baader zoom and one of the Nikons for some images. If its cloudy there is a pub nearby with a fine selection of real ales. Should be a good day either way! 

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I use my 127mm mak with a baader filter. With my 24mm 68 degree ep I can get the whole disc in.  I will also stick my camera on it for pics.

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I believe that Mercury's disk is going to have an apparent diameter of around 12 arc seconds during the transit. At the 2012 transit of Venus, Venus disk was 58 arc seconds in apparent diameter for comparison.

I guess the smallest scopes might have some difficulty in resolving Mercury's disk as more than a black dot against the solar surface ?.

 

 

 

Edited by John

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I'll be using Ha and white light and am hoping that Mercury passes close to sunspots,  filaments, or prominences on the limb for some interesting photo opportunities. 

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