Transit of Mercury 2019
On Monday, November 11, 2019 (Veterans Day), a fabulous Transit of Mercury occurred. The event happened in the morning hours, locally starting at 7:39 am and continuing until 1:07 pm. We had clear skies for nearly the entire event, with only the last 15 minutes becoming obscured by increasing cloud cover.
A transit of Mercury happens when Mercury crosses its ascending or descending node during inferior conjunction. The ascending node is the point when Mercury crosses the ecliptic (plane of the Solar System) following a northerly track. The descending node is when Mercury crosses the ecliptic following a southerly track. This is due to Mercury having a 7° inclination, which means its orbital path around the Sun is tilted 7° to the plane of the Solar System. Inferior conjunction happens when Mercury passes in between the Sun and Earth. This will allow for daytime regions on Earth to observe Mercury crossing the visible area of the Sun. On this particular transit, Mercury crossed the ascending node during inferior conjunction.
At Frosty Drew Observatory we archived the entire transit event on 20 second interval, resulting in 917 total images in the collected data set. This gallery will showcase select images from the event. Enjoy!
Last Entry: November 15, 2019