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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Ramsgate
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    968

    Default Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    On the 12th of November, 2019, Mercury will pass between the Earth and the Sun, a fairly rare event. The planet's silhouette will be visible from Earth.
    This was first observed by scientists from a sailing vessel: Whitby collier HMS Endeavour, Captain J.Cook, in New Zealand 250 yrs ago. The same crew went on to observe the transit of Venus, allowing the distance of the Sun to be calculated.

    Do any of the astro experts on here know if we could see this event from the UK, or would we have to be in NZ as well?
    Mercury is absent from my Reeds Tables.
    Last edited by Ohlin Karcher; 03-11-19 at 16:05.
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Corfu - mostly
    Posts
    5,413

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    It's actually 11th Nov. The transit should be visible from the UK all afternoon - on the unlikely assumption that we can actually see the sun. The transit starts at about 1235.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohlin Karcher View Post
    On the 12th of November, 2019, Mercury will pass between the Earth and the Sun, a fairly rare event. The planet's silhouette will be visible from Earth.
    This was first observed by scientists from a sailing vessel: Whitby collier HMS Endeavour, Captain J.Cook, in New Zealand 250 yrs ago. The same crew went on to observe the transit of Venus, allowing the distance of the Sun to be calculated.

    Do any of the astro experts on here know if we could see this event from the UK, or would we have to be in NZ as well?
    Mercury is absent from my Reeds Tables.
    In this case Reeds is superseded by Google: https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explo...sit-of-mercury.

    But the forecast is for cloud, including on 11th when everyone seems to think it is; don't miss it!

    Mike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,663

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Apparently Australia was not part of the planning when these transits, Mercury, were arranged

    The last one was in 2006 and the next one is rather a long wait till 2036 (I think that is correct).

    This is a great pity as we will be offshore then in hopefully ideal conditions to view the sun.

    Jonathan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    809

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjcoon View Post
    In this case Reeds is superseded by Google: https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explo...sit-of-mercury...

    Mike.
    This is my first call for anything astronomical:

    http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/astronomy/nightsky/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    23,274

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    I don't think that a transit will be very easy to see with very basic equipment, which is a pity. We watched the transit of the much larger Venus in 2004. On that occasion we were in Kolobrzeg, Poland for the first time. I remember lining up my image-stabilised binoculars and projecting the sun onto a white card. I also engaged the attention of some German fellow-sailors that we were cruising with. I took photos of the projection but was mortified when the film was lost in the post.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,213

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Transits of Mercury are fairly common - 13 or 14 a century (i.e. about every 7 or 8 years. It is transits of Venus that are MUCH rarer (one pair of transits in a period of over a century). It was a transit of Venus that Cook observed in Tahiti.

    The transit only lasts a few hours, so it will only be visible from parts of the Earth where the sun is up during the transit. I'd guess that a transit visible from Australia is unlikely to be visible in Western Europe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Quote Originally Posted by AntarcticPilot View Post
    Transits of Mercury are fairly common - 13 or 14 a century (i.e. about every 7 or 8 years. It is transits of Venus that are MUCH rarer (one pair of transits in a period of over a century). It was a transit of Venus that Cook observed in Tahiti.
    Grenwich Observatory website says: "Don't miss this extremely rare astronomical event. After all, it won't happen again until 13 November 2032...".

    But that's only a factor of two more than your 7 years.

    Mike.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,213

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjcoon View Post
    Grenwich Observatory website says: "Don't miss this extremely rare astronomical event. After all, it won't happen again until 13 November 2032...".

    But that's only a factor of two more than your 7 years.

    Mike.
    There's only a 1 in 2 chance of a transit being visible at a specific place, so that makes sense. My statistic is global.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    809

    Default Re: Transit of Mercury 12th Nov.

    Did anybody see it?

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