Planetary Solar Transits: Mercury vs. Venus


“In the days before the Mercury transit of May 9, 2016, many images of the Venus Transit of 2012 were published and people were told that the upcoming transit of Mercury would look similar.”

“Well not quite. Mercury has only 40% the diameter of Venus and lies at its nearest point to earth about twice as far away.”

“This means that the disk of Mercury had only 8% the area of Venus and was not visible to the naked eye.”

“While I missed the Venus transit of 2012, I was in a prime position for the 2004 transit and was able to catch it on film—yes, I am that old! I started photography in the film age… :-)”

“This image shows the Mercury transit of 2016, combined with the path of Venus in June 2004. The different size and transit path is obvious.”

Credit: Flickr user Skypointer
Release Date: May 12, 2016

Technical details:
Equipment:
Celestron NexStar 8GPS with Baader solar filter (it was brand new in 2004)

Vintage Pentax camera with Kodak Gold 200 ASA film for the Venus transit
Canon EOS 6D for the Mercury transit

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Mercury #Venus #Transit #Sun #Solar #Orbit #Earth #SolarSystem #Astrophotography #Art #STEM #Education #Timelapse

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