Hi Folks – here’s a quick observing report from yesterday’s Mercury Transit:

I alternated between frustration and enjoyment yesterday during the Transit of Mercury. We happened to have a cold front pushing its way through our area right at the time the Transit started. I completely missed the first and second contact events because heavy clouds completely blocked the Sun. I was just about to give up, completely frustrated and dejectedly mulling over what to break down first when I realized the Sun was shining! I looked up and saw that we had a decent break in the cloud cover so I decided to stay and see what I could get.

This is the first image I’ve processed from the video I shot. This is probably somewhere around 40 minutes into the Transit:

There will be more where this came from, but for now I’ll finish my report…

Up until this point I was the only person at Fox to cover the event besides the Park Rangers, who stopped by from time to time to satisfy their curiosity. However, withing the hour Tony and his wife (I think) stopped by with his Image stabilized and Solar filtered binoculars. Shortly after Tony arrived, Manuela showed up to see what was happening. They stayed for about an hour and a half, and we shared views through the binos and the DV camcorder viewfinder (yes, we used the imaging telescope for observing too!) between bouts of cloud. About 20 minutes after Manuela left, Ivan showed up to see if anyone was here. We observed the Transit as well as the huge sunspot that was many many times larger than the planet was. I ran out of DV tape around 4:30, so Ivan helped me pack up. True to form, the sky was absolutely clear 30 minutes later.

Although the day started out to be very frustrating, it turned out to be an enjoyable event.


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