On November 11th, Mercury will be crossing the face of the Sun from our perspective. It will have started a bit before sunrise, so from Sunrise (~7:05) to about 12 noon.
For more information on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_of_Mercury
As one of the members who is also an astronomy nerd, among others like @mrscience I’ve been watching the weather and such. Extended forecasts have seemed to variously indicate some clouds or not as I check most mornings, which like the fun before the eclipse have varied, which has delayed me posting this. It seems now like it will be clear in Wichita.
I’m wondering if there are people who would be interested in seeing it and/or photographing it? I have a few telescopes which could be used (with white light filters), and if there’s interest, I may see about setting some up, outside of Douglas to the South. If people would be interested in taking pictures, I have both Nikon and Canon adapters.
Couple of notes:
FILTER PROTECTION NEEDED.
Eclipse glasses will be of NO use, due to Mercury’s size.
Do not use a telescope without a secured filter before any optics
Binoculars will not work. (Or at least won’t work well, due to the limited magnification.)
You will want at least 50x magnification. (See below for how to calculate)
DSLR Camera lenses will be of limited use, even 300mm ones. (See below for details.)
More details on the various points.
The reason for the filter to be in front, then the optics, as one of the functions of telescopes are to concentrate light, and eclipse glasses are not rated for the amount collected at an eyepiece, nor is welding glass of shade 13+ which are sufficient to stare at the sun normally. It must be secured to the scope, or you can risk eye damage. Older telescopes may have come with an eyepiece Sun filter (similar to a moon filter) However, DO NOT USE THEM. Experience and eye injuries suggest only using a filter in front. (A lot of people I know will go further and suggest immediately tossing any sun filter, but I think just putting it in a bag and marking it as not to use, and keeping it is fine, as most of the scopes that would have come with them are quite old and may be collectable.)
You’ll need a telescope with the filter and most online places have recommended, 50x (Which for most telescopes will be between a 10-24mm eyepiece. (basing it off what’s generally the oldest cheap scope 60mm/700mm telescope, it’d need a 14mm for 50x) If you have your own and a solar filter the equation for how much magnification it gives is: magnification = (telescope focal length) / (eyepiece focal length)
For reference, the inner circle of Venus in this image will be approximately https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Comparison_angular_diameter_solar_system.svg (I love that image, as it explains the apparent sizes of planets so well.) the same size as Mercury, and the sun will be closer to the outer line than the inner one. I also have some Adapters that can be used with camera lenses, but when comparing, if you have an APS-C/DX camera of about 24Mega pixels, you’ll have Mercury be about 6 pixels wide using a 300mm lens. (Actually may be less, I think I had a 2x Barlow in the calculation.)
If you miss this one, the next one will be November 13, 2032
If there’s anyone interested, please let me know via reply (I don’t want to move more stuff than I need, or alternatively only move one scope and have lots of people who want to see things), or if anyone has questions, and wants to do some of their own photography or peeking. Feel free to ask! I’m hoping to get a time lapse/compilation of it, but there are lots of technical difficulties which could prevent that.