APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

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APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun May 08, 2016 4:07 am

Image Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot on the Sun

Explanation: What's that dot on the Sun? If you look closely, it is almost perfectly round. The dot is the result of an unusual type of solar eclipse that occurred in 2006. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. This time, the planet Mercury took a turn. Like the approach to New Moon before a solar eclipse, the phase of Mercury became a continually thinner crescent as the planet progressed toward an alignment with the Sun. Eventually the phase of Mercury dropped to zero and the dark spot of Mercury crossed our parent star. The situation could technically be labeled a Mercurian annular eclipse with an extraordinarily large ring of fire. From above the cratered planes of the night side of Mercury, the Earth appeared in its fullest phase. Hours later, as Mercury continued in its orbit, a slight crescent phase appeared again. This was ten years ago -- the next Mercurian solar eclipse will occur tomorrow.

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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by heehaw » Sun May 08, 2016 9:27 am

One of the best transits of all occurred on New Year's Eve of 2001 December 31 in the hours centered about midnight (on Earth). It was ... a transit of Earth, and of our Moon, as viewed from ... Jupiter! That's how I celebrated that New Year's Eve, thinking about it happening! (I lead an exciting life!)

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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by Joe Stieber » Sun May 08, 2016 8:26 pm

I've never seen a Mercury transit. The past three were obscured by clouds in my area. Despite a lot a of cloudy/rainy weather recently, the forecast for tomorrow looks good through the early afternoon, so keeping my fingers crossed, I'll have a chance to see much of it. In my area at 40°N-75°W, sunrise is at 5:50 am, the transit starts at 7:13 am and ends at 2:41 pm local time (topographic prediction).

I spent the month of April preparing for it. I observed Mercury on fourteen (14) evenings between April 3 and April 27, 2016. Initially, I spotted Mercury as it moved eastward away from superior conjunction with the sun, reached maximum elongation, then swung back westward towards the sun and its impending inferior conjunction. I started looking with a scope on the 14th when it was nominally half-illuminated, then saw it narrow to a crescent, although much of the time, the crescent looked like a fat banana due to poor seeing at the low altitude.

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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by BillBixby » Sun May 08, 2016 10:41 pm

Joe Stieber wrote:I've never seen a Mercury transit. The past three were obscured by clouds in my area. Despite a lot a of cloudy/rainy weather recently, the forecast for tomorrow looks good through the early afternoon, so keeping my fingers crossed, I'll have a chance to see much of it. In my area at 40°N-75°W, sunrise is at 5:50 am, the transit starts at 7:13 am and ends at 2:41 pm local time (topographic prediction).

I spent the month of April preparing for it. I observed Mercury on fourteen (14) evenings between April 3 and April 27, 2016. Initially, I spotted Mercury as it moved eastward away from superior conjunction with the sun, reached maximum elongation, then swung back westward towards the sun and its impending inferior conjunction. I started looking with a scope on the 14th when it was nominally half-illuminated, then saw it narrow to a crescent, although much of the time, the crescent looked like a fat banana due to poor seeing at the low altitude.
Wishing you "Good Luck" with the clouds. 8-)

Bill

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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by neufer » Sun May 08, 2016 11:27 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_mark wrote: <<A beauty mark or beauty spot is a euphemism for a type of dark facial mole, so named because such birthmarks are sometimes considered an attractive feature. In the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe's beauty mark generated a new vogue.

False beauty marks are sometimes applied to the face as a form of make-up. Beauty marks were particularly highly regarded during the eighteenth century and creating false ones became common, often in fanciful shapes such as hearts or stars. They could be purchased as silk or velvet patches known as "mouches" (flies). Alexander Pope's 1712 poem The Rape of the Lock mentions such patches as indicators of "secular love":

Here Files of Pins extend their shining Rows,
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.
Now awful Beauty puts on all its Arms;
The Fair each moment rises in her Charms,
Repairs her Smiles, awakens ev'ry Grace,
And calls forth all the Wonders of her Face;


In the conclusion of the book The Silence of the Lambs, the heroine Clarice Starling gains an artificial beauty mark when burnt gunpowder gets lodged in the flesh of her cheek. >>
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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by ta152h0 » Mon May 09, 2016 1:43 am

Can one use welding mask to look at the sun ?
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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 09, 2016 5:05 am

ta152h0 wrote:Can one use welding mask to look at the sun ?
Yes, as long as it uses an ordinary glass filter (not electronic), and is at least #13. (And only naked eye- not with binoculars or a telescope.)
Chris

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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by moontrail » Mon May 09, 2016 7:55 am

Zooming the image a big white spot is clearly visible on Mercury.

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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by neufer » Mon May 09, 2016 7:04 pm

astroguyz wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Phobos-Earth-Moon Transit
November 10th, 2084(Teaser).

<<A brief video simulation depicting a transit of Phobos during a simultaneous transit of Earth and the Moon, a very rare event! Expect an expanded video post with explanations to be forth coming.>>
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Re: APOD: Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot... (2016 May 08)

Post by moontrail » Tue May 10, 2016 9:14 am

Zooming the original image http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1605/Me ... r_1200.jpg a big white spot is clearly visible on Mercury.

Zooming the included http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160508.html the white spot is not there.