Mercury Transit 2016 started with an unfavorable weather forecast for the DFW area but as the day and the transit progressed the clouds began to break. The transit was in progress at sunrise here locally. I’ve uploaded the better images I took of the transit most of which were from just before maximum transit (9:58 a.m. CDT) until 3rd and 4th contact (or egress) I used my normal setup for these events a Meade 90mm (3.5″) ETX maksutov-cassegrain telescope with a Nikon D60 digital camera working at prime focus and a solar filter. These images are unedited and unprocessed.
It’s been a decade since the planet Mercury passed in front of the Sun as seen from Earth. These transits happen about 13 times a century and November 8, 2006 was the last time it happened. I took the image below with a 90 mm Meade ETX telescope. Mercury is the small dot. The larger dot to the right is a giant sunspot. You can see more of my transit images on my website.
This year on May 9, 2016 Mercury will once again slowly glide across the face of the Sun and it’ll make for a great observing opportunity for those in the U.S.A. The transit will have already begun (6:12 a.m. CDT) for those in western parts of North America. So when the Sun rises on May 9, 2016 at 6:34 a.m. CDT Mercury will already be working its way across the Sun. The greatest transit time for the DFW area will come around 9:58 a.m. CDT. Greatest transit is the instant when Mercury passes closest to the Sun’s center. Mercury should begin to move off the face of the Sun at about 1:38 p.m. CDT. Continue reading Mercury Transit 2016
Jupiter’s four large moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto) are hard to miss, and a favorite telescopic target of backyard observers. They are commonly referred to as the Galilean Moon’s due to the fact that they were discovered by Galileo Galilei over 400 years ago.
It just so happens that on the night of January 23-24th (Friday night into Saturday morning) these four large moons will be putting on a must see show. A triple shadow transit!
The video above from NASA outlines that transits and events as they unfold on the night of January 23rd. I have listed them below giving the Central Standard times.