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SOHO sees the Mercury transit

SOHO sees the Mercury transit

22 November 1999

This Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) image shows the planet Mercury passing in front of the solar corona on 15 November 1999, as seen from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The planet is seen as a featureless dark spot just above the solar disk.

The Mercury transit began at 21:15:01 UT and concluded at 22:06:47 UT, lasting almost 52 minutes. In this particular case, Mercury passed across the northernmost edge of the Sun in what's called a grazing transit. From SOHO's perspective, 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, the closest approach of Mercury to the Sun was at an angle of about 92 arc seconds.

This Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) images observed in the 195 Å emission line shows the planet Mercury passing in front of the solar corona as seen from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The planet is seen as a featureless dark spot, blocking the light of the bright corona.

More images and movies showing the passage of Mercury are available from the 15 November 1999 entry in Hot shots from SOHO.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
21-Sep-2021 23:26 UT

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