Today I’m going to show you everything you need to photograph the transit of Mercury across the Sun. It will happen very soon, on November 11, 2019. And it’s a rare and amazing spectacle to photograph.
No, this is not a TIE fighter gong over the sun, it is the International Space Station. And while getting a shot of the ISS over the sun is competently doable, getting that shot with Mercury in the frame is an epic effort.
Engineer and photographer Thierry Legault took this composite of the ISS, Sun and Mercury at a carefully selected location and date in Philadelphia, USA. You see during the entire 21st century there are only 14 times that Mercury goes over the sun. Add to that the precision needed to capture the exact 0.6 seconds of ISS transit and you can start understating how hard it can be.
Of all the planets found in the Solar System, only five of the brightest planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, can be seen with the naked eye.
While all five of these planets can be seen throughout most of the year, as of this morning they can all be seen simultaneously as they (mostly) align diagonally in the early morning sky.
Last time this happened was over a decade ago, so ready your cameras and plan your shots.