UPDATE – 5/9 @ 12:10 pm – APL Astro Event CANCELLED due to inclement weather. See http://www.nasa.gov/transit for great views!
UPDATE – 5/9 @ 8:20 am Weather not looking good. You must be able to see distinct shadows for us to see an image of the sun through a solar telescope. There will be nothing to see if there are no distinct shadows.
Monday is the next (and last until 2019*) Mercury Transit of the Sun! We will be well placed for viewing the entire thing – if only we had a full day to take off and observe it! The last time this event occurred was 10 years ago (November 2006).
The current weather forecast for Monday is: Mostly sunny! High of 71! We have to have a clear view of the sun to view it through our special-purpose Solar telescopes (NEVER LOOK ANYWHERE NEAR THE SUN WITH A CONVENTIONAL TELESCOPE!).
The transit will start at 7:12:19am EDT, and be fully underway (the entire disc of Mercury will be silhouetted against the Sun) within a few minutes, at 7:15:31am EDT. The midpoint of the transit will happen at 10:57:26am EDT. Finally, the finish to the transit will begin at 2:39:14pm EDT, when the outer edge of Mercury’s disc will touch the far edge of the Sun. The transit will wrap up a few minutes later when Mercury completely disappears from view at 2:42:26pm EDT.
Based on volunteer availability, we expect to have the Lunt 60 mm H-alpha telescope set up on the lawn in front of Building 200 and the Coronado 40 mm H-alpha telescope set up on Central Green near the pergolas.
Approximate times –
Central Green – 11 – 1:30 pm
Bldg 200 – once at the beginning of transit, a couple times during the middle/near lunch (around 11am and again around noon), and once at the end of transit.