Mercury Transit on May 7, 2003

Central Display and Webcam...

We are online with you during the entire event

DO NOT FORGET THAT IT IS DANGEROUS TO OBSERVE THE SUN WITHOUT SPECIAL PROTECTION! The only completely safe way is to project an image of the sun on a white surface (for instance, a piece of paper or cardboard).

Latest Information (May 7, 10:30 hrs CEST -- 08:30 hrs UT)

The transit is underway since almost 3 hours! The mid-transit is now behind us but we still have 2 hours of show. Images from the telescope at ESO and other places are now coming at a regular rate. The one from ESO may be seen via the webcam Mercury is the upper right one, closer to the limb of the solar disk. It appears sharper than the lower one which is a small sunspot group. Please note that the solar image is reversed by the telescope optics - this is why Mercury is moving from right to left in these images. Note also that the webcam image is rotating so as to have both Mercury and the sunspots in the image. This makes it difficult to appreciate the motion of the planet. See however this image to be convinced of the contrary. The images are updated every 1 minute in principle.

The load on the ESO website has been mounting steeply this morning and we now have about 9,000 hits every minute. It may thus well be that you will need a little patience to see the images.


Image taken in H-alpha by the Sonnenobservatorium Kanzelhöhe, Austria. Filaments and the sunspot are nicely visible as well as the black dot of Mercury in the upper part.

previous images... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Recent Images

Here is a collection of recent images obtained in different places.

Image taken by Bob Fosbury with a zoom onto Mercury and the sunspot.

Image taken by the GONG network from Australia

Image taken by the GONG network from Australia. This is a composite image showing the motion of Mercury.

Image from the Deep Sky Widefield applications in Sonderborg (Denmark)