Monday 11/11/2019

Mercury Transit

I arrived around 12:30 and was greeted by Dave, Leslie and Rhys who were already there and setting up the Coronado. It was quite cloudy, the Sun could be seen in the finder but not much at all through the main scope. Dave and Leslie stayed a while before heading off. I set up the Hydrogen Alpha filter on the ED80 in the small dome and around 14:00 (I think, maybe earlier) there was a prolonged clear patch in the clouds and Mercury could be seen crossing the face of the Sun in all of it's glory. I went to find Peter who came to have a look, Rhys returned after popping out for a while and had a look too, I'm not sure that they had much luck focusing though for their eyes. After that I decided to put a camera on the ED80, however the subsequent clear patches were not long enough to focus it sufficiently and set the correct exposure settings. During my camera setup Peter managed to train the ETX on the Sun and both he and Rhys were able to observe Mercury too. As is usually the case the skies in other directions away from the target where quite clear. A shame not to get any images during it's brief appearence, but a worthwhile experience shared with friends nonetheless.