Mercury Transit 2019 Report
The Mercury transit 2019 for the UK was on Monday 11th November with it hitting the middle of the Sun at about 3pm UK time. Start time was around 12.30. Not the best time to have a transit in the winter when the Sun is so low down all day and it sets really early at about 4pm.
The weather was not kind either a 20mph wind with heavy rain in the morning and lots of cloud. But at one point there was a clear section for about 10 minutes. I did not bother opening up the observatory and imaging properly with a high frame rate camera once I saw the pouring rain and cloud cover. Instead I decided to just get the Coronado PST out on a simple tripod and have a look.
It’s so funny when you first start looking for Mercury on the face of the Sun, you expect it to be bigger than it is. Here I am looking for a big black dot, when in reality it’s a tiny black dot, which seems only a few pixels across.
I tuned out the H-alpha part of the spectrum on the PST in order to get a better contrast and a plain orange Sun. I then tried my Moto G6 phone against the eyepiece (the PST has a really narrow FOV) the phone really over saturated the image, so I grabbed my Canon DSLR with the kit lens and put that up against a 20mm eyepiece in the PST and imaged by hand. Again auto mode on the camera over exposed the images, so I changed to a faster shutter speed.
I took them into my favourite image editor and tweaked them a little to try and bring out the little black dot (Mercury) some more, and here they are:
They are not that great, but I best I could do without a tracking mount and a proper camera attached. I was happy to have something.