Transit of Mercury
11 November 2019


Only the Inferior Planets can transit the Sun. A transit occurs when an Inferior Planet passes directly between the Earth and the Sun appearing as a black spot against the Sun. Transits are rare.

Transits of Mercury occur about 13 times per century. Because of the eccentricity of Mercury's orbit, 9 transits happen in November and only 4 in May. The transit is not visible to the naked eye and must be viewed by projection or through optical aid with solar filters. This is a list of recent and future transit dates:

Transit 2019

11 November 2019

It was a day of cloud and sunny spells. We went to Regents Park close to the Lords Cricket ground and the London Mosque.

We met the Baker Street Irregulars, an astronomical group. Several people had brought telescopes with filters. We were able to see the transit for a couple of hours until the clouds rolled in and the sun got too low.

The Transit began at 12:35 and reached its maximum at 15:19. From London, the transit was still ongoing at sunset.

I saw it from its beginning (with gaps) till about 15:00 when it had clouded over.

Images from London

Transit of Mercury
Mercury is visible as a small black dot through a hand held camera with home made solar filter.

Transit of Mercury
Telescopic view of the filtered Sun showing Mercury and granules.

Image from Turkey

Sunset transit from Turkey.

Photo Credits

Lesley Bound
Hand held camera image.

Nicholas Joannou
Telescopic views of the filtered Sun.

Tunc Tezel
Sunset transit.