The two images above show Mercury at two different times as the planet crossed the face of the Sun on November 8, 2006. The animation below superimposes these two images. Mercury appears as a small black dot when it transits the Sun, and the event must be viewed with a telescope. However, the planet Venus is larger and closer, and can be easily seen with the naked eye during a transit of Venus. Of course, whenever you view the Sun, either with your naked eye or through a telescope, you must use appropriate filters to avoid damaging your eyes.
This was the first transit of Mercury visible from North America since the grazing transit of Mercury on November 15, 1999.
This image was taken with a ToUCam webcam on a Takahashi FS-78 refractor. The HandyAVI 2.0 software program was used to control the webcam. A solar filter was used over the front of the telescope.
November 8, 2006
Images by Sid Leach
Complete list of images.
Description of equipment used to acquire images.
Feedback and comments should go to Sid