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Less than a month away, Mercury in Transit.

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#1 JDShoots

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:07 AM

How many of you have shot the sun?  I am scared:)   But they say we will not see this again until 2032. 

https://www.accuweat...til-2032/603235

I never really had an interest until I saw that article.  Not that the article is inspirational, but it had one point that struck me, the next occurrence. 

Now I am behind the eight ball here, at least it’s a month away yet.  
I am tempted to pick up one of these filters and give it a try with my normal daylight lens/camera combo:
https://www.amazon.c...nics,669&sr=1-9

 

Does anyone have one, my lens hood is 5.86”dia, and this goes up to 5.81, but it talks about foam and rubber, do you think I can get that little 0.050 out of it?  
I could buy a smaller one if I leave the hood off, in that case it would need to fit 132mm dia.  Do I really need a hood if I use this filter? 
Is this filter sufficient to protect my camera and lens and my eyesight?   What else should I have? 

My mount is just tracking at sidereal rate, no lunar or solar switch.   Knowing the majority of the sun’s motion is the earth rotation, how close is this?
I was thinking I can get a decent polar alignment at night, then get the camera setup in the AM, program the intervalometer to take a pic every 5 minutes or so.   Will the normal sidereal rate keep the sun roughly centered the entire 5+ hour of this event?  Well not really 5 hours, since it will be so low on the horizon I am sure I will not get to start shooting until later, once it's above the trees.  
I plan to shot with my 500mm f4 or maybe add the TC and get 700mm, that’s a min FOV of 1.8° or 1.3° respectively.   So @ 30’, I will only have the sun covering about 1/3 of the frame at best. So Mercury will be real small, I assume large enough to make it out at 5-10 pixles in dia, that just talked me into using the TC?   hummm 5 pixles, might not be worth it.  
Will there be enough contrast in the sun for a good focus or should I do it with a Bahtinov mask at night?

 

I guess I need to start googling. 

 

Any other pointers are welcome.

Thanks!  JD



#2 dswtan

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:34 AM

For Mercury in 2016, I just used a super zoom camera, 600mm lens “equivalent” with 1” sensor. No tripod or tracking, but I did lean against a post. A snapshot really, but cool enough.

https://flic.kr/p/GBnCVG

 

For Venus in 2012, I did get a little fancy, with a rented 300mm lens and 2x teleconverter, plus tracker. I used an oversized 8” filter over the lens hood, taped down for safety. (Not ideal!)

https://flic.kr/p/zBQDpz

 

This should give you some idea of what you might capture. Manual focusing on the sun’s edge, or a sunspot if you’re lucky - not likely at this solar minimum, is quite straightforward. 
 

As you’re new at this, take special care with safety and secure your filter properly!


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#3 Traveler

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 03:20 AM

I Always use for these occasions my Tak FS-60CB with APS-C camera (total focal length approx.500mm)  and a full aperture Thousand Oaks 2+ glass filter.

I have to make the pictures at work. I only have to find out how to come to the roof of the building where i work without activating alarmsystems... grin.gif ...



#4 JDShoots

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:35 AM

For Mercury in 2016, I just used a super zoom camera, 600mm lens “equivalent” with 1” sensor. No tripod or tracking, but I did lean against a post. A snapshot really, but cool enough.

https://flic.kr/p/GBnCVG

 

For Venus in 2012, I did get a little fancy, with a rented 300mm lens and 2x teleconverter, plus tracker. I used an oversized 8” filter over the lens hood, taped down for safety. (Not ideal!)

https://flic.kr/p/zBQDpz

 

This should give you some idea of what you might capture. Manual focusing on the sun’s edge, or a sunspot if you’re lucky - not likely at this solar minimum, is quite straightforward. 
 

As you’re new at this, take special care with safety and secure your filter properly!

Wow, Venus is so much larger, that makes for a much better picture.  But like you said, cool enough.  I may want to get the 2x TC I have been looking at.  Great on focus, I thought i might be ok there.  Thank you on the filter warning, I will take care.  

Thank you.



#5 JDShoots

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:27 AM

I Always use for these occasions my Tak FS-60CB with APS-C camera (total focal length approx.500mm)  and a full aperture Thousand Oaks 2+ glass filter.

I have to make the pictures at work. I only have to find out how to come to the roof of the building where i work without activating alarmsystems... grin.gif ...

Wow, 500mm, I hope the roof at work is very high:)    I was looking at Thousand Oaks sizing page, that may be a better fit. 

Thank you for the motivation.

JD



#6 Kendahl

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:52 PM

The Orion filter will work. Filters made from Baader aluminized mylar are cheaper. It's not hard to make your own from Baader visual film and matte black poster board. Another way is to use a short cardboard tube (e.g. mailing tube) bigger than your telescope and glue the film over it. Use foam weather stripping to get a snug (not tight) fit.

 

To determine camera settings, take some photos of the sun (with filter in place) when it is at least 20° above the horizon. My settings, with visual film over my f/7.7 scope, are ISO 100 and 1/2000 or 1/4000 second. Right after sunrise, when it is close to the horizon, the sun will be dimmer and more red.

 

Do a test run, to make sure everything works, a day or so before the actual event. If you are using an equatorial mount, set up well before sunrise and get the best possible polar alignment. Select solar tracking rate if your mount has it.

 

The sun is 32 arc-minutes across. During the transit, Mercury will be 10 arc-seconds. That's half of one per cent of the sun's disc. Mercury will be a very small black dot on the sun's surface.


Edited by Kendahl, 19 October 2019 - 01:04 PM.


#7 RedLionNJ

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:50 PM

Don't expect the sun to stay centered for long at sidereal rate, no matter how accurately polar-aligned you are.

 

The Earth orbits the sun in a little over 360 days (easy math). Let's assume you're tracking at sidereal rate.

 

Therefore the sun moves one degree per day.

 

The sun is about half a degree across.

 

So the sun moves its own diameter in about twelve hours.

 

During the duration of the event, it will move by an apparent distance roughly equal to its own radius.



#8 JDShoots

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 03:21 PM

The Orion filter will work. Filters made from Baader aluminized mylar are cheaper. It's not hard to make your own from Baader visual film and matte black poster board. Another way is to use a short cardboard tube (e.g. mailing tube) bigger than your telescope and glue the film over it. Use foam weather stripping to get a snug (not tight) fit.

 

To determine camera settings, take some photos of the sun (with filter in place) when it is at least 20° above the horizon. My settings, with visual film over my f/7.7 scope, are ISO 100 and 1/2000 or 1/4000 second. Right after sunrise, when it is close to the horizon, the sun will be dimmer and more red.

 

Do a test run, to make sure everything works, a day or so before the actual event. If you are using an equatorial mount, set up well before sunrise and get the best possible polar alignment. Select solar tracking rate if your mount has it.

 

The sun is 32 arc-minutes across. During the transit, Mercury will be 10 arc-seconds. That's half of one per cent of the sun's disc. Mercury will be a very small black dot on the sun's surface.

Thank you for the ideas.   and I agree, shooting the sun before "the big day" is definitely in my plans, weather permitting.  

I agree about the size, 10" is awful small, and may make this entire exercise just practice for an ISS pass or Venus.  



#9 JDShoots

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 03:27 PM

Don't expect the sun to stay centered for long at sidereal rate, no matter how accurately polar-aligned you are.

 

The Earth orbits the sun in a little over 360 days (easy math). Let's assume you're tracking at sidereal rate.

 

Therefore the sun moves one degree per day.

 

The sun is about half a degree across.

 

So the sun moves its own diameter in about twelve hours.

 

During the duration of the event, it will move by an apparent distance roughly equal to its own radius.

When you put it that way, it is easy math:)   Thanks.  I figured the orbit would factor in, I just didn't logic through it.  

And that slight movement will still keep the entire solar disk in my FOV.  

Thank you,

JD


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#10 B 26354

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:07 PM

10" is awful small, and may make this entire exercise just practice for an ISS pass or Venus.  

Unfortunately, the next transit of Venus across the Sun occurs on December 11th 2117. If you missed the ones on June 8th 2004 and June 6th 2012 (both were amazing), you're out of luck.  bawling.gif



#11 3snows

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:02 AM

Hello - Practice makes perfect.  IT is not that hard once you try a few settings.

 

You might consider one of these: https://explorescien...ant=38933724752

 

I used one for the Total Eclispe in 2017 and it worked great.  They are cheap (made from cardboard with foam inserts that can be made to fit any size scope) but I still use mine and it will probably last me forever.  If you don't view the sun that often might be an option.

 

BTW - these create an orange sun image.  I prefer that, I know others prefer the white image. 



#12 JDShoots

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:14 AM

Unfortunately, the next transit of Venus across the Sun occurs on December 11th 2117. If you missed the ones on June 8th 2004 and June 6th 2012 (both were amazing), you're out of luck.  bawling.gif

In the article I read said 2117 is the next pair of transits, the next single is 2032.  That is what's motivating me to try it this time.  

thanks for the reminder:)



#13 JDShoots

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:18 AM

Hello - Practice makes perfect.  IT is not that hard once you try a few settings.

 

You might consider one of these: https://explorescien...ant=38933724752

 

I used one for the Total Eclispe in 2017 and it worked great.  They are cheap (made from cardboard with foam inserts that can be made to fit any size scope) but I still use mine and it will probably last me forever.  If you don't view the sun that often might be an option.

 

BTW - these create an orange sun image.  I prefer that, I know others prefer the white image. 

Thanks for the link, that's cool.  I will definitely bookmark this.  I plan on getting out and shooting the sun a few times before the big day, like you say, hone in on the settings and become familiar with it.  Orange image, perfect:) 

Thanks again, 



#14 RedLionNJ

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:57 AM

In the article I read said 2117 is the next pair of transits, the next single is 2032.  That is what's motivating me to try it this time.  

thanks for the reminder:)

2117 is the next Venus transit. Transits of Venus always occur in pairs a few years apart. So it's 2117 and 2125 for Venus.

 

After 2019, the next transit of Mercury is 2032.



#15 B 26354

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 11:15 AM

In the article I read said 2117 is the next pair of transits, the next single is 2032.  That is what's motivating me to try it this time.  

thanks for the reminder:)

The solar transit that occurs in 2032 is Mercury. No Venus transit until 2117.

 

Oops. Sorry for the redundancy... the above post hadn't shown up yet while I was writing mine. frown.gif


Edited by B 26354, 21 October 2019 - 11:18 AM.


#16 JDShoots

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 12:06 PM

The solar transit that occurs in 2032 is Mercury. No Venus transit until 2117.

 

Oops. Sorry for the redundancy... the above post hadn't shown up yet while I was writing mine. frown.gif

2117 is the next Venus transit. Transits of Venus always occur in pairs a few years apart. So it's 2117 and 2125 for Venus.

 

After 2019, the next transit of Mercury is 2032.

Thank you for the clarification.  Sucks for me and Venus.  But we are living longer, however if I make it that long, I don't think I'll be carrying my EQ mount into the yard.   Then again buy that time we can get it with our phones or maybe hop in the car and fly a little closer and see it real time.   



#17 JDShoots

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 06:53 PM

I had to practice for the Mercury crossing.  

 

 

original.jpg


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#18 Teddythefinger

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 06:58 PM

Awesome!! This would be a really cool print. Ya know, like, a nice large one!


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#19 JDShoots

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 07:26 PM

Awesome!! This would be a really cool print. Ya know, like, a nice large one!

I wish there was more detail to be seen on the surface, but yeah, it would be cool.   It is a crop, so I believe my 24mp frame was cropped down to 6mp since 700 is still short for  a 1/2°.  That would make a nice 12*18" print.  



#20 JDShoots

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 07:40 PM

I meant to add:

The above image is a simple composite of 4 frames I managed to take during the transit. The event lasted 0.91 seconds, without guiding:) 

The solar filter is a necessity!

 

I used this site to find a crossing in my area.
https://transit-finder.com/

 

I used this site to get the exact time when to release the shutter.
https://www.time.gov/

 

I knew my camera could rattle off almost 20 shots in 4 seconds, so I planned on hitting the shutter 1 second before the time in the transit finder link.  I ended up with a ISS'less shot for the first frame then 4 frames with the ISS, then a bunch more after.  



#21 JDShoots

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 02:55 PM

All this preparation (Ok mostly anticipations:) and the local forecast is calling for 70% cloud cover:/

Even cloudy tonight, suggesting I couldn't do a polar alignment in preparation.  

So what other notable solar transits are in the future?  

 

I haven't given up yet, but it's not looking good.



#22 17.5Dob

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 11:32 PM

Snow/ freezing drizzle....



#23 Starman27

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:32 AM

We have significant snow, so I'm watching it on Slooh.



#24 JDShoots

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:11 PM

Well they lied again, alright, they were inaccurate.   The skies here cleared up just as I was heading to bed and I managed to get on Polaris long enough to align.  I bagged the mount and went to bed.   In the AM, to my surprise, the skies were only hazy with very thin clouds.   So with the sun buried in the tree line , I took my regular tripod to get the first 10 or so images somewhere clear.   Then I came home and got on the mount for the remaining shots.   I did need to rotate the first few to align them with the tracking mount images, but the bulk of this is accurate.  As fuzzy as some are, I didn’t have to copy any for a missing pic or anything.  Transparency was poor, seeing was terrible, and the clouds made for some decent glow around the sun. original.jpg


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#25 Cosmo Geezer

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:28 PM

Just so you will know, the Mercury transit in 2032 will not be visible in the United States. It will be visible in Africa and the Middle Eastern nations.  The next one viewable from the US won't come around until 2049, thirty years from now! 

 

Steve




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