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Mercury Transit - Nov. 8, 2006

Web Camera Images

The transit started at 19:12:28 UT (1:12:28 local time). I had planned on recording 1st and 2nd contacts and I had everything ready. The telescope was tracking and the webcam was started at 1:10 PM local time. About one minute before 1st contact was to occur the R.A. motor on my telescope began slewing like mad. I turned the power to the telescope off and restarted. By the time I was re-centered the transit was already under way. The first video, which was to include the beginning of the transit, was eight minutes long. All of the subsequent videos were two minutes in duration. The seeing conditions were poor to fair. Probably around 2 to 3 out of 5. A fairly strong breeze was blowing throughout the afternoon. Most of these images were taken at the prime focus of my Meade 8 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain. The last image was taken with an f/6.3 focal reducer. Shutter speeds were 1/1000 second for the images taken at f/10 and 1/1500 second for the last image taken at f/6.3.

Film Camera Images

Full solar disk images. Mercury is the small spot in the lower left of the solar disk. Olympus OM1 at the prime focus.