Mercury transit about 10:42 MDT.
Beautiful transit yesterday. In spite of early forecasts showing clouds, we had a sunny (if windy) morning, nearly perfect for transit viewing.
We had more than 200 visitors to our transit event on campus, including more than 50 elementary school students from the nearby town of Nampa.
We also had a local television news crew there from KTVB and Frankie Barnhill and Adam Cotterell of the local NPR station, KBSX.
Comparing NASA’s view of the Sun from space to the view from my front yard.
In preparation for the Mercury transit event on Monday, I set up one of our telescopes with a solar filter to see what the Sun looks like. The image above is a comparison of what I can see from my front yard to what NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory saw a few hours ago.
Looks like we’ll have a tiny Sun spot present for the transit on Monday, and the weather forecast is looking better. So fingers crossed for good conditions.
An event that only occurs 13 times a century, the planet Mercury will transit the Sun in the morning of May 9, meaning the planet will pass between the Earth and Sun and cast a shadow we can see, as in the photo at left.
The Physics Department at Boise State University will host a viewing event on campus in the plaza next to the physics building (Multi-Purpose Classroom Building) from 9am till 1pm. Paid parking is available in the Brady Parking Garage across the street from the event.
We will have telescopes with Sun-safe filters and eclipse shades to share so the public can watch this rare celestial occurrence.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, the transit will already have begun by the time the Sun rises, but it will last until about 1pm.
So bring the whole family for this rare celestial event — the next one won’t happen until 2019.
UPDATE: We will also project a live feed from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in the lobby of the Physics Building.