May 9, 2016 Transit of Mercury

My efforts to photograph the Mercurial transit of the sun today were less than optimum; the diminutive disk of the small planet did not resolve well with my Canon SL1, 300mm lens and a $10 solar filter. Moreover, looking at the sun through Eclipse Shades was a bust; you couldn’t resolve the planet at all.

But, all was not lost – thanks to the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s images on the internet, I captured several screen shots to combine into the animation below. The sequence starts when Mercury is almost at mid-transit (I did not want to get up at 4 AM) and continues to the point where the shadow is barely touching the east limb of the sun. I find it very interesting that the sunspots at and above the equator move to indicate the solar rotation over the few hours it took for the transit.