I feel fortunate to have seen and recorded the transit--I know lots of people were dealing with solid overcast and/or frigid temps, wind, and snow around the US (and Europe). The clouds were a nuisance but the temperature in Virginia started out a little chilly but climbed up into the 60's by late morning.
I was in my son TK's driveway in Waynesboro. The GFS forecast was for less cloudiness than at my place in WV--the European forecast was for cloudiness in both places. The European forecast was correct. I had thin to moderate high clouds the whole time but I was still able to catch the transit. I missed first and second contact a half hour after local sunrise due to clouds and trees but saw the rest of it.
Mercury was much more visible through the clouds with my 40mm PST @ 33x than with my grandson's 82mm f/7.5 reflector. The white light mylar filter on the reflector dims the Sun so much that often the solar disk was made invisible or nearly so by the clouds while it was visible at the same time with the PST. When the Sun was visible using the reflector, I couldn't see Mercury at 10x--I had to bump it up to 30x before the tiny black dot was visible--and it would come and go with the seeing (which deteriorated near the end of the transit as the clouds got thicker).
The sketch is a line drawing/schematic (I might do a color version later if the weather stays bad and keeps me indoors) and the best I could do in the field. It was hard placing Mercury's position because the solar disk appeared featureless. I could see one small bright prom on the southeast limb but no other proms were visible--probably too dim to detect through the clouds.
Once Mercury appeared through the thin clouds, I tried to mark its progress in front of the Sun every half hour. Since I started at 33x, I kept the magnification at that for the sketch, although I would occasionally increase the power to take a closer look at things--I was using my Baader Hyperion Mk III 8-24mm zoom eyepiece.
I planned to do a separate set of sketches of egress but the clouds thickened and the seeing tanked just before it started. It was only a minute and 40 seconds between third and fourth contact so it happened really fast. About halfway through it the seeing and transparency turned to mush and Mercury disappeared even though it hadn't made fourth contact yet. Oh, well.
I may have rendered the tiny dot of Mercury a little bigger than it really was--I don't have a circle template that small (.03 inches) so I just did it freehand.
Since the transit occurred on Veteran's Day (Remembrance Day/Armistice Day in other countries) I want to dedicate this sketch and observation to my father, T/Sgt Reynold R. Rosolina, DFC, Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters. He is buried with my mom at Arlington National Cemetery.
I've tried and failed to see the previous three Mercury transits going back to May 2003 so I was lucky and very happy to finally catch this one.
Edited by Special Ed, 12 November 2019 - 03:03 PM.