Archive

Archive for November 11, 2019

11/11/2019 – Ephemeris – Mercury is passing across the face of the Sun today

November 11, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 5:19, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:35. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 7:24 tomorrow morning.

Today we are bring treated by a rare event. The planet Mercury is crossing 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 visible here in 2049. The transit starts at sunrise when Mercury starts to cross the Sun from the lower left from sunrise 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 Sun’s heat will melt the filters and cause blindness.

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

Addendum

One or more members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society mayl be out in the parking lot of Mari Vineyards 8175 Center Road on Old Mission Peninsula, but only if it’s clear. Be advised that there is a winter storm warning for the Grand Traverse Area from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.  That means that chances are slim that we’ll have a big enough clear spot to observe through.  But I’ll be on the look out., and am a half an hour away.

I found a source for streaming video fo the transit from Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYZKNhTJmOI.

Being on the west coast they will miss part of the transit.  They’ll go live at 9:15 a.m. our time.  Sunrise over there is at 9:22 our time.  There’s more information on: http://www.griffithobservatory.org/events/Transit_of_Mercury_2019.html.

More information about viewing the transit is on: https://spaceweather.com/

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
Transit Map

The Sun facing side of the Earth at the start and end of the transit. If you can see your location on either of these maps the transit or part of it will be visible from your location. Credit Occult 4.