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Mercury Transits Sun - 2019 NOV 11


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Just had the BEST luck taking a photo!

First image through first hole in the cloud. Dave

They talked about the transit at my son’s school today. He made it home just in time to see it 

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I've really enjoyed reading all these posts, an example of the internet at its finest bringing like minded people together.

I had booked the whole day off work but the dodgy weather meant I went to work in the morning with the plan to go home at lunchtime and have the afternoon off if it looked good. It did so I did!

I met up with my dad at a spot I selected previously that had easy car parking, views of the sun looking over fields and trees not houses and roads, and lots of hedges and tree lines so I had lots of options for finding a spot out of the wind.

Things had taken a turn for the worse with thick cloud and wind but we picked the best looking spot and we were set up by about 1.30 and waited.

For maybe half an hour there was no chance and then it started raining... but I had prepared!

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Edited by Paz
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5 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

Southerners? I'm in Merseyside up north unless your in Scotland. 👍

I see that, but I never turn right at the E end of the M55. ⚠️

T'other side of Preston is outskirts of London! 🤣

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Oops I hit post too soon, here's the rest of my day...

After the rain the clouds slowly thinned and we go intermittent views followed by consistent spells of good views. Mercury was really clear and this was my first solar session with the 102mm ed-r apo I've just acquired.

I tried measuring the size of mercury with my microguide eyepiece but it was only about the same size as the thickness of the tick marks so not easy to measure. The best views were at about 71x with a 10mm SLV.

Here's my dodgy phone shot...

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Here's our spot and my dad having a look...

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Eventually the view started blurring and when I checked the focus we saw this...

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...I've never seen trees through a wedge before!

We packed up whilst the going was good. This was a great day and one to remember.

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I managed to get around to making a filter for my dob so was able to get the scope out for the few hours ( or was that moments ) that we had some sun, no photo's of the transit as I forgot to order the adaptor for my camera, doh!.

 

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I had taken the day off to see and capture the transit. In the event the weather forecast was not great, with fast-moving heavy showers - but also clear spells. The low Sun was not visible from home, so I set up on a footpath a short distance away. At that location, a large conifer offered shelter once the showers hit (though sadly the Sun was not visible from under the conifer).

Interestingly, only one of the many passers-by showed any interest in what I was doing (though she lost interest when I said I wasn't a bird-watcher!) 😀

Anyway, Mercury was clearly visible in the SolarMax 40 - even with the low magnification 25mm eyepiece. I  struggled somewhat to take some photos, adjusting the focus between each image but never really nailing it. Still, I did finish with some DSLR frames that do show Mercury. 

By about 14:35 high cloud had moved in, spoiling the views even between the shower clouds. About then I packed up and headed home under another heavy shower.

Regards, Mike.

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Up to this point, I’ve not paid much attention to “local” celestial events, but the sense of being “in the moment” was quite special this afternoon. 

You never know, I might become an eclipse chaser...😎

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10 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

Is that a 150p or 200p

It's a 200pds but had to make the filter 6" as single a4 film didn't cover the opening and i didn't want to fork out another 20 quid for an extra sheet...

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It was a near miracle Tomato and I got those pictures as lots of cloud and my laptop starting a lengthy Windows update  as we could see a clear bit of sky approaching from the west . We ignored the "do not switch of the PC" and restarted. Then we had to wait for the "rebuilding" message to end before Sharpcap was available. Also  thanks to Flo my Skywatcher Solar Quest worked beautifully.

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11 hours ago, Paul M said:

I see that, but I never turn right at the E end of the M55. ⚠️

T'other side of Preston is outskirts of London! 🤣

I live in the Midlands. Easily defined as the area northerners think is the south of England and southerners think is the north...

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I live in the most centrally located city in the UK which is also the most central population wise with an equal amount of people living north and south and east and west.........Derby. 😁

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48 minutes ago, Switch10 said:

It's a 200pds but had to make the filter 6" as single a4 film didn't cover the opening and i didn't want to fork out another 20 quid for an extra sheet...

Have you considered one of these just fit like the front cover I had one for my 150p when I took pictures of the transit last time.

https://www.365astronomy.com/Solar-Filter-for-200mm-Newtonian-Telescopes.html

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12 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

Have you considered one of these just fit like the front cover I had one for my 150p when I took pictures of the transit last time.

https://www.365astronomy.com/Solar-Filter-for-200mm-Newtonian-Telescopes.html

No i didn't know those were a thing, thanks for sharing! I'd seen metal cased solar filters but those were pushing the 100 quid mark.

Might consider getting one if the sun livens up and after my handmade filter undoubtedly falls apart.

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Commercial filters usually have the advantage of greater neatness and hopefully easy fitting and security against falling off in the wind.
The solar foil filters are considered to be optically superior to glass filters provided the foil is slightly wavy.
Commercial or DIY, you don't want a perfectly smooth, foil filter. Baader tells you this in their instructions.

I found suitable donor objects for supporting my foil, over suitably large holes and they have lasted for years.
My 180mm has a modified, aluminium baking pan which fits over the objective cell with foam lining for security.
The 90mm is just a detergent bottle cut short [100mm/4"] and the foil taped over the outer end. It slips over the dewshield.

When not in use I keep them both standing foil upwards in clear plastic food containers.
That way I can see how ugly they are but can't lose them! :blush:

Hold the filter up to the sun before use and move it about to look for pinholes or damage.
Pinholes won't blind you but will lower contrast in use.
I like to be reminded how small the sun is in the sky and whether there are any naked eye sunspots. :rolleyes:
It's probably an age thing.

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I know it's a bit late but I am on my canal boat and just got a WiFi signal. I set up my PST on the towpath not far from napton junction. I used a 17 and 10mm celestron DUO ep. Saw 1st and 2nd contact. Then cloud and watched again about 3pm. Great to watch another transit

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

I know it's a bit late but I am on my canal boat and just got a WiFi signal. I set up my PST on the towpath not far from napton junction. I used a 17 and 10mm celestron DUO ep. Saw 1st and 2nd contact. Then cloud and watched again about 3pm. Great to watch another transit

 

 

Excellent stuff Mark, glad you saw it.

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