Transit of Mercury 9.5.2016

  • Observed phenomena: Transit of Mercury
  • Type of observation: Positive
  • Date and time: 9.5.2016; 11:12-18:41 UT
  • Observing place: Turku, Finland
  • Observing method: Photography
  • Technical information about photographing equipment: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, telescope: refractor 4”/f9.8 (L102/1000mm), AstroSolar-filter
  • Observing conditions: Clear sky (0/8) 100% of time

I was observing transit of Mercury in Turku, Finland where I had established a pop-up transit of Mercury observing station! This time weather was favourable and I was able to observe this celestial event from the beginning (almost) to the end, and the sky was totally clear during the whole event! The sky of Turku has let me down many times, but not this time! At least I got some compensation after the unlucky observing attempt of transit of Venus in 2012 when clouds ruined the whole event.

The transit started at 11:12 UT when a small hole appeared in the side of the Sun. Soon whole Mercury drifted to the front of the disk of the Sun. During the transit, Mercury passed a group of sunspots. I observed the whole transit as long as I could. I wasn’t though able to observe the 3rd and 4th contacts because Sun was setting behind the trees and because Mercury has disappeared within the layers of mirage -distorted Sun in the very end.

During the day, many people passed by me, and I showed the transit for all that were interested in taking a look at it. During the day, abour 20 to 30 people were able to see the transit!

This was fantastic experience, and I’m so glad and grateful that I was able to witness this rare celestial event!

Below you can have a look at some of my photos of the transit:

 

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Transit of Venus 6.6.2012

Observed phenomena: Transit of Venus
Type of observation: Negative
Date and time: 6.6.2012, 04:00-07:50
Observing place: Parainen, Finland
Observing conditions: Cloudy sky

The historical transit of Venus was happening behind clouds!!! Yes, the horrible truth is, that in my observing site, the sky was completely cloudy during the transit. I tried to observe the event in Stormälö, which is an island within the municipality of Parainen, in the Archipelago of Turku, Finland.

There were some holes here and there in the cloud cover, but that wasn’t simply enough that it would have been possible to see anything, so I have to make a negative observation from this one. I have to admit, that I’m disappointed, I was so prepared, and everything was so well planned and everything should have been perfect…but then Mother Nature had some different plans..well, I guess life goes on after this and there will be plenty of celestial phenomenae and events to be seen! Hopefully having better luck next time (althogh it won’t be on observing transit of Venus, but something else..)