Mercury Transit 2019

November 11, 2019

Mercury Transit 2019
A must see experience event on November 11, 2019 is the Mercury Transit. That is to say the planet Mercury will be passing directly between the Sun and the Earth. This appears as a small black spot crossing over the surface of the Sun. It looks like the picture to the right. Click on the image to enlarge. The times in the picture are UTC.

In Utah, the transit begins before the Sun even comes up at about 5:35AM. So it will already be happening at Sunrise, 7:08AM. Mercury will have completely crossed over the Sun by about 11:05AM. Mercury will not transit again until November 2032.

St. George Astronomy Group will be setting up SOLAR TELESCOPES on the Hogback in Toquerville, Utah early in the morning before Sunrise. Come see it, even if only for 15 minutes on the way to work. The address on the Hogback is: 1526 South Ashcreek Drive, Toquerville, UT 84774. The Hogback location instructions and map is located: here

I Saw the Mercury Transit Certificate

SGAG Transit Certificate Example
Observers will be able to download and print a full size certificate.

Usually, you have to observe the whole event. But seeing as how this is on a work and school day this year, and it will have already started before Sunrise, it will be given to anybody who shows up to take a peek.

Planetary Transit Special Award

For this award, you must be a member of the Astronomical League as a member of an astronomy club. All SGAG members are also members of the Astronomical League. This award is much more involved.

The purpose of this award is to determine characteristics of the Sun and Mercury from observations during the transit.

Required Activities:

  • Step 1: Calculate the oblateness of the Sun: based on the full-disk image of the Sun
  • Step 2: Calculate the oblateness of the planet Mercury: based on the full disk image of Mercury
  • Step 3: Calculate the inclination of Mercury's orbital path
  • Step 4: Calculate Mercury's Orbital Period
  • Step 5: Calculate Mercury's velocity in orbit
  • Step 6: Some questions to be answered
There is a deadline for submitting your observations and calculations. It must be received by the Coordinator by December 11, 2019. Late submissions will not be accepted.

For how to do these things and the other requirements get all the details at the Astronomical League Transit Site.

Let us know if you want to attempt this.