Transit of Mercury

On 7th May 2003, the planet Mercury crossed the disk of the sun. This event was witnessed by many Stratford upon Avon Astronomical Society Members.

Images of the Transit

Dave Rose took multiple CCD images of the Sun, which he combined into a single image, showing the progress of Mercury across the solar disk. Mercury can be seen as the line of dots towards the top of the image. The other objects are sun spots.

An animation made from the component frames of this image can be seen in the Multimedia Gallery.


Track of Mercury across disk of Sun. Image by David Rose.


Steve Smith used an adapted webcam to take various images of the transit through an 8" Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope (SCT). A Thousand Oaks solar filter was used to reduce the light intensity. All the images were taken through thin cloud.

Mercury can be see as the dot towards the top of this image...


Transit of Mercury at 8.03UT taken at f6.3. Image by Steve Smith.


Mercury is the large dot in this image...


Transit of Mercury at 7.40UT taken at f6.3. Image by Steve Smith.


At high magnification, Mercury's tiny disk could clearly be seen...


Transit of Mercury at 7.30UT taken at f10. Image by Steve Smith.


The Next Opportunity

Mercury will next transit the Sun on 8th November 2006. Before then, on June 8th 2004, Venus will transit the Sun for the first time since 1882.