Archive for May 6, 2016

05/06/2016 – Ephemeris – Learn about Monday’s transit of Mercury tonight

May 6, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, May 6th.  The Sun rises at 6:25.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 8:54.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Learn more about next Monday’s transit of Mercury across the Sun at tonight’s meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at 8 p.m. at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, on Birmley Road, South of Traverse City.  Afterward at 9 p.m., there will be another program and weather permitting there will be viewing of Jupiter, and later Mars.  On Monday the Society will host transit viewing at two locations.  The transit runs 6 ½ hours from 7:12 a.m. to 2:42 p.m.  The Rogers Observatory will be open for that period.  Also telescopes with be stationed at the Dune Climb at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by yours truly to view the transit.  The event is not visible to the naked eye and dangerous to even attempt it.

The program will also preview the coming opposition of Mars and closest approach since 2003 on the 30th.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


I posted these yesterday, but here they are again:

Transit Map

Transit visibility map with added captions to make it more readable. Credit United States Naval Observatory, The Astronomical Almanac Online.

rack of the Transit of Mercury

The track of Mercury across the face of the Sun. Mercury will travel from upper left to lower right. Mercury will not be visible until it impinges upon the disk of the Sun. Credit IOTA’s program Occult4.

From IOTA’s Occult4 program

Transit of Mercury on 2016 May 9 (TT)
   {'+' => next day; '-' => previous day }
                                           Overhead at
     Geocentric Event      UTC         P.A.  Long  Lat
                         h  m  s       o      o    o 
[1]  Exterior Ingress   11 12 16     83.1     11   17
[2]  Minimum Separation 14 57 38             -45   18
[3]  Exterior Egress    18 42 23    224.4   -102   18

Minimum sepn 318.5";  Radii - Sun 950.4", Mercury 6.0"
delta T =  68.2 secs,  Ephemeris = DE0

Note:  These timings are geocentric.  Occult4 has timings for various cities of the world.  Occult4.0.2 can be downloaded here.  They can vary by several minutes for different cities due to parallax.

I will post more information on the transit in an Ephemeris Extra tomorrow.