Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Always view the Sun safely!
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » December 14th, 2018, 4:45 pm

Here is the outline for Baton Rouge (specifically HRPO grounds)...
6am = Highland Road Park Observatory will be open to the public. Viewing begins indirectly with streaming video from another location on Earth.
6:26am = The Sun rises.
~6:36am = The disk of Mercury makes contact with the Sun.
~6:39am = The disk of Mercury is completely "immersed" in, or "on top" of, the Sun.
6:56am = The Sun is at 5 degrees.
7:22am = The Sun is at 10 degrees.
7:48am = The Sun is at 15 degrees.
8:16am = The Sun is at 20 degrees.
8:46am = The Sun is at 25 degrees.
9:18am = The Sun is at 30 degrees.
9:56am = The Sun is at 35 degrees.
10:48am = The Sun is at 40 degrees.
11:48am = The Sun culminates at 42 degrees.
~12:02pm = The disk of Mercury begins to "leave" the Sun.
~12:05pm = Mercury and the Sun are separated.
12:33pm = The Sun is at 40 degrees.
1:00pm = HRPO closes to the public.
There will be no admission fee for this event. Solar viewers will be on sale for two dollars each; however, one will not be able to see the disk of Mercury with a solar viewer.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » October 4th, 2019, 2:07 pm

As with any solar viewing, appropriate precautions must be taken to insure eye damage will not result. One has a number of options for safely viewing the transit...
1) Use a solar telescope.
2) Use a nighttime telescope with a solar filter.
3) Use a commercial device, such as a Sunspotter, that projects an image of the Sun. (Some of these devices, depending on how they are constructed, may be able to project only down to a certain altitude.)
4) Use "eclipse" or solar glasses. (Check to make sure the film is in healthy condition, with no punctures or tears.) This will not provide a view of the Transit. Mercury is too small to see at 1x.
5) Homemake a projection device. (Please follow the instructions carefully.) This will not provide a view of the Transit. Mercury is too small to see at 1x.

If you have never taken part in any of these activities before, please insure that you doing it correctly and safely. If you are not absolutely convinced of that, by all means go to where pre-trained individuals are viewing the Transit.

Do not use sunglasses, do not attempt to use your hand to cover a portion of the Sun, and do not attempt to "glance quickly" in the direction of the Sun. At any rate, Mercury cannot be seen at 1x; magnification is required.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » October 31st, 2019, 4:30 pm

The HRPO site's webpage for the Transit has been up for a while...
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/special.html

Most people in the Baton Rouge area will not see the entire Transit since the event will begin when the Sun is at the Baton Rouge horizon. A Baton Rougean will have to wait fifteen to seventy-five minutes after the Transit begins to see the Sun (depending on his personal eastern horizon). The best time to view the Transit of Mercury from this area will be 7:45am to 10:45am.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » November 5th, 2019, 2:01 pm

There will be guided Planet Walks from the "Sun" to the "Earth" (scaled down, of course) at 8:30am and 10:30am. These will be conducted by BREC Education Curator Amy Brouillette. This is the last Transit of Mercury until 2032, and the last one visible from Baton Rouge until 2049.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » November 8th, 2019, 11:36 am

Below is the current NOAA forecast for 6am to 12pm on Monday...
precipitation potential, 13%
sky cover, 88%
relative humidity, 89%
temperature, 16˚C
surface wind, E 7 km/h


That's not good at all, but it has improved slightly over the past couple of days.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » November 8th, 2019, 5:33 pm

Many preparations are taking place across the Transit viewing area (which is a large part of the globe). For those who are frustrated by less than optimal viewing conditions, the Solar Dynamics Observatory will share its perspective of the Transit.

More information:
https://mercurytransit.gsfc.nasa.gov/2019/
https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/news/mercury- ... -11th-2019
November 2019 Astronomy, pp. 50-51
November 2019 Sky & Telescope, pp. 48-49

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » November 9th, 2019, 6:21 pm

The NOAA forecast for the Transit viewing in Baton Rouge has improved from "bad" to "fair"...
precipitation potential, 5%
sky cover, 60%
relative humidity, 87%
temperature, 17˚C
surface wind, E 5 km/h


At this point, the best chance for a sight of the Mercurian disk crossing our parent star is from 7:45am to 9:15am.

More information:
https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/ ... ns-nov-11/

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Transit of Mercury (11 November 2019)

Post by Christopher K. » November 11th, 2019, 5:54 am

This is the final update before the event begins at HRPO. Here is the current forecast for 6am to 12pm...
precipitation potential, 1%
sky cover, 63%
relative humidity, 92%
temperature, 16˚C
surface wind, E 6 km/h

Danko says the transparency will be "poor" (1 out of 5) and the seeing will be "average" (3 out of 5).

The absolute best chance of seeing the Transit is between 8am and 12pm. The Transit is over at 12:05pm.

Bring money for T-shirts, hot cocoa, cannoli, fried fish and fried shrimp. The Solar Quest game runs from 8am to 10am.

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