University of London Observatory
Mercury transiting the Sun's disc
The transit of Mercury on 7 May 2003

The transit of Mercury was observed from ULO using the Fry 8-inch refractor (visual and photographic observations), equipped with a Daystar H-alpha filter, and a Meade LX200 10-inch SCT, fitted with an Orion white-light solar filter and an Astrovid 2000 CCD video camera.

The event was observed by ULO staff and students taking UCL's Diploma in Astronomy.

Some video stills and footage of the event are shown here. Click on the images for full-size versions, or to run the animated GIFs of the (short) video sequences.

The Transit at 09:18 The Transit at 09:28
The transit at 09:18 UT.The transit at 09:28 UT in H-alpha light.  A faint filament at the right-hand side extends past the limb and becomes a prominence.

The transit was also observed by the SOHO satellite, whose site gives much more information, including some impressive movies.

While observations were in progress, some aircraft were observed also to transit the Sun, momentarily eclipsing Mercury also. Both events are available as animated GIF movies.

Plane transiting the Sun (1144 kb) Plane transiting the Sun (741 kb)

Here are a few pictures of the observations in progress:

Observing the transit with the Fry
A student in UCL's Diploma in Astronomy course, Max Alexander, observes the transit of Mercury through the Daystar H-alpha filter on the Observatory's Fry 8-inch (20-cm) refractor.

Observing the transit with the Fry
Another picture of Max Alexander at the telescope.

Observing the transit with the Fry
Dr. Francisco Diego lines up a photograph of the transit of Mercury with the Fry telescope.


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This page maintained by Steve Fossey.
Last updated: 2003 June 26