Archive for November 8, 2019

11/08/2019 – Ephemeris – On Monday tiny Mercury will cross the face of the Sun

November 8, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, November 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:31. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:14 tomorrow morning.

Monday we will be treated by a rare event. The planet Mercury will cross the face of the Sun. It’s called the transit of Mercury. The last one visible from around here was 3 ½ years ago, and the next one will be in 2049. Mercury will start across the Sun from the lower left from sunrise at 7:35 and will cross the Sun until 1:04 p.m. where it will leave the Sun at the upper right. The best way to see it will be to project the Sun’s image on a white card using binoculars or a telescope. Do not look through them at the Sun. Solar eclipse glasses will not work because Mercury is too small. Do not use eclipse glasses with binoculars. The heat will melt the glasses and cause blindness. I’ll have more information Monday.

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


Path of Mercury across the Sun

Path of Mercury across the Sun. The planet will move from lower left to upper right. The passage will be from lower left to upper right. Credit: Occult 4.

Binocular projection

I’m demonstrating using binoculars to project the Sun. Photo by Bea Farrell (granddaughter).

Mercury Inferior Conj.  (Transit) 
Transit of Mercury on 2019 Nov 11 (TT)
     Geocentric Event      UTC          EST          P.A.
                           h  m  s                      o 
[1]  Exterior Ingress      12 35 27    7:35.27 a.m.  110.0
[2]  Minimum Separation    15 19 48   10:19:48 a.m.
[3]  Exterior Egress       18  4 14    1:04:14 a.m.  298.6

Minimum sepn 75.9";  Radii - Sun 969.3", Mercury 5.0"
delta T =  70.2 secs,  Ephemeris = DE0