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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 19 Feb 2016 (Friday) 02:51
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Transit of Mercury - May 9, 2016

 
heldGaze
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Mar 30, 2016 02:48 |  #46

Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954268 (external link)
Thank you! I was not aware I could set anything to where I live! That is so cool!!!

That link is to this event, but at the top left of the page if you click "Mercury and Venus Transits" it will take you to a page for all transits of these planets. Or go to his home page and start exploring, there are maps for other events including solar and lunar eclipses. You have to click into the actual Lunar Eclipses page as on the main Eclipses page the link to the map is not active for many of the upcoming ones.


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Mar 30, 2016 06:04 |  #47

heldGaze wrote in post #17954139 (external link)
That info is in the OP of this thread. Also, do y'all know what the difference is on kendrickastro between the visual solar filters and photographic solar filters?


Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954176 (external link)
Since I am in the Eastern time zone I believe I need to subtract 5 hours for the times shown, am I correct?

I was 'assuming' since the description of the visual solar filters will fit over a telescope and/or camera lens I will also be able to photograph the event.. or am I screwed there? I was planning on doing that as well as be able to view the image thru the view finder or use live-view.....

Will I be able to get decent photos of the transit using the VISUAL solar filter?


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Mar 30, 2016 09:26 |  #48

Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954395 (external link)
Will I be able to get decent photos of the transit using the VISUAL solar filter?

Yes,

I have numerous shots of the transit of venus and the last partial solar eclipse through my visual filter.

Here's one taken through the Thousand Oaks solar filter.


HOSTED PHOTO
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The exposure on this was ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000th sec. I used a 300mm lens so this image is cropped in quite a bit, but the exposure isn't adjusted. Later in the partial eclipse clouds (thin - somewhat transparent) were moving in so the shots aren't clear but you can still see the sun.

The sunspot group in the center of the sun turned out to be the largest sunspot group in this 11 year solar cycle.

These are regarded as "white light" filters (even though in this filter the sun is orange) because they allow all wavelengths of light to pass through (full spectrum) but they trim the amount of light so that only a tiny amount can pass through. If the filter trims one part of the spectrum a little more than another (rather than a color-neutral evenly balanced reduction) then the sun will take on a color cast. This filter trims the blues a little more aggressively then the reds... hence the color. Some filters trim the reds a little more and the sun actually looks a tiny bit blue (the Baader film usually does this). You can always adjust the color in post processing.



  
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Inspeqtor
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Mar 30, 2016 10:48 |  #49

TCampbell wrote in post #17954566 (external link)
Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954395 (external link)
Will I be able to get decent photos of the transit using the VISUAL solar filter?

Yes,

I have numerous shots of the transit of venus and the last partial solar eclipse through my visual filter.

Here's one taken through the Thousand Oaks solar filter.

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by TCampbell in
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forum: Astronomy & Celestial Talk


The exposure on this was ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000th sec. I used a 300mm lens so this image is cropped in quite a bit, but the exposure isn't adjusted. Later in the partial eclipse clouds (thin - somewhat transparent) were moving in so the shots aren't clear but you can still see the sun.

The sunspot group in the center of the sun turned out to be the largest sunspot group in this 11 year solar cycle.

These are regarded as "white light" filters (even though in this filter the sun is orange) because they allow all wavelengths of light to pass through (full spectrum) but they trim the amount of light so that only a tiny amount can pass through. If the filter trims one part of the spectrum a little more than another (rather than a color-neutral evenly balanced reduction) then the sun will take on a color cast. This filter trims the blues a little more aggressively then the reds... hence the color. Some filters trim the reds a little more and the sun actually looks a tiny bit blue (the Baader film usually does this). You can always adjust the color in post processing.

Thank you!!

After seeing your photo I wish it was Venus that was transiting the sun this May, not Mercury... I see we ONLY have to wait until the year 2117 for the next time Venus does this! I can hardly wait!! :cry: :rolleyes:

Maybe Saturn or Jupiter will transit the Sun soon! <grin>


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Mar 30, 2016 12:56 |  #50

Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954674 (external link)
Thank you!!

After seeing your photo I wish it was Venus that was transiting the sun this May, not Mercury... I see we ONLY have to wait until the year 2117 for the next time Venus does this! I can hardly wait!! :cry: :rolleyes:

Maybe Saturn or Jupiter will transit the Sun soon! <grin>

Charles; I hope you realize that Jupiter and Saturn are in outer orbit, compare to Earth, in relation to Sun. So there will never be such a thing as Transit of Jupiter or Saturn from Earth. Transit can happen only with inferior planets, namely Mercury and Venus.

Well to make the reply accurate; The only possibility is a catastrophic event when those fat heavenly bodies are out of their orbits, traveling toward sun, already passed earth, not hitting earth and no change in relation of sun and earth, for eg as can happen if the very remote theory of MilkyMedia (Collision of Andromeda and Milky way galaxies) is correct (And many currently totally believe this will never happen).
Also please see the number of prerequisites and assumptions needed for the event to occur, so its realistic chance of occurrence is really much less than possibility of survival technique to make you either live upto 2117 or be reverse engineered from your current DNA remnant, on that year:)
The real likely event to do this is to make a space ship that can be lunched in right location, far away from Jupiter or Saturn to see on such transit and you should be qualified to travel in that, that probably in best situations should take about 6-7 earth years to get there.....
Hollywood can make it right now and Jules Verne possibly has thought about it.

Additionally don't blame yourself much for losing the opportunity of taking picture of Venus transit. I was up and running there and with not so friendly clouds, appearing all of the sudden and from no where, on that day, everything went really in way wrong direct, and I am living and paying high tax for blue sky, in so called "Sunny California":).


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Mar 30, 2016 14:13 |  #51

samsen wrote in post #17954795 (external link)
Additionally don't blame yourself much for losing the opportunity of taking picture of Venus transit. I was up and running there and with not so friendly clouds, appearing all of the sudden and from no where, on that day, everything went really in way wrong direct, and I am living and paying high tax for blue sky, in so called "Sunny California":).

Yup. There was no chance of seeing it with my own eyes where I was. I was visiting my parents at the time, and I have built them a media PC. So I put on this google hangout conference that had a lot of different people providing feeds of their telescopes and watched it with my mom on her TV. It would have been great to see it with my own telescope, but that wasn't going to happen no matter what planning I had put in before the event.


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Mar 30, 2016 17:05 |  #52

Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954674 (external link)
Thank you!!

After seeing your photo I wish it was Venus that was transiting the sun this May, not Mercury... I see we ONLY have to wait until the year 2117 for the next time Venus does this! I can hardly wait!! :cry: :rolleyes:

Maybe Saturn or Jupiter will transit the Sun soon! <grin>

The other possibility that Samsen didn't bring up was Earth being pulled from it's orbit and hurled into the outer solar system ... or beyond. Either way... if planets start trading places in the solar system, everyone on Earth has probably got bigger problems to worry about than watching the transit.  :p

On a more serious note...

Each planet is has a slightly elliptical orbit around the Sun and our orbits are slightly inclined to the plane of the solar system (which we selfishly declare is the "ecliptic plane" which is the path the Sun seems to take across the sky as viewed from Earth. Basically that means we selfishly believe that Earth defines the plane of the solar system and nobody living on any of the other planets has shown up to file a dispute (yet). (BTW, Earth's orbit is inclined by just slightly over 7º from the plane of the Sun's equator.)

Venus' plane of orbit is inclined by 3º 23'.
Mercury's orbit is inclined by just over 7º.

But since the focus of each orbit is the Sun, that means if you imagine a plane of the orbit of any two planets then there's an axis where those two planes intersect. There would be an intersection axis passing through the and through each planet's orbit on two opposite sides of the sun. Those intersection points are called the "nodes".

If the planets are not located at the corresponding nodes (or at least very close) then the planet sizes compounded with the distances involved mean that the planet will pass above or below the sun (from our point of view) and not pass directly in front of it. Earth is in the node for Venus in June and December. It's in the node for Mercury in May and November (there's a specific date for each of those months and the transit is only possible if the other planet is in the same node within just a couple of days of that time.)

If Earth just *happens* to be located in one of the nodes of the Earth/Venus axis AND Venus *also* happens to be in the intersection node AND on the same side of the Sun as Earth, THEN we will see a Venus transit. For Venus transit cycles repeat in 243 year cycles and in that 243 years there 4 times that the transits occur. Oddly, then come in pairs that are about 8 years apart. So you get a transit, in 8 years you get another transit... then you wait more than 100 years to get a transit, 8 years for the next, and then more than 100 years pass again. The last transit of 2012 and that was the 2nd of the 8-year pair (the previous would have been in 2004).

Mercury is much faster so it has more frequent transits. They happen either at 7, 13, or 33 year intervals and there tends to be at least a dozen of them per century.

The transit of Venus allowed for a fundamental measurement to be taken which identified the true distance between the Earth and Sun. Based on Kepler's laws of planetary motion, by extension that same measurement provided the basis for knowing the true distance to every other planet and object in the solar system.

But further... that means we now know how far the Earth shifts in space in a 6 month period (one side of the sun to the other -- a distance just a little shy of 200 million miles ... just under 17 "light minutes". Based on knowing THAT it is possible to use parallax measurements to determine the distance to the nearest stars (Parallax measurements lose accuracy as the distance increases and are pretty much worthless for any object farther than 1000 light years away.)

HOWEVER... if you can find some "standard candles" within that distance (and we can) then again, by extension, you can measure distances to stars that are much farther away (and in 1925 this is what Edwin Hubble did and discovered (to his shock and fear) that the Andromeda galaxy was, in fact, a couple of million light years away and not just a nebula located within the Milky Way galaxy (which is what they believed prior to Hubble's discovery). It literally blew open the universe.

Those measurements led to the use of "red shift" to determine measurements to objects even farther away (millions or even billions of light years distant) and that all led up to the Hubble Constant and the idea that the universe is expanding from a central point.

If you work the distances and times involved backward... you end up with the age of the universe.

Just remember... it all started when Edmond Halley came up with the idea that you could use a Transit of Venus to measure the distance to Venus and the Sun accurately -- but the measurement can only be made during a transit and transit are rare (he had to teach young astronomers the method to work out the math knowing that the next transit wasn't going to occur until after his death.) From that basic measurement we learned the size and age of the universe.

This is why I love science!




  
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Mar 30, 2016 18:35 |  #53

TCampbell, have you studied math, physics, astronomy? Reading your posts they read like notes from one my physics or astronomy classes in college. I've got degrees in math & physics, and took some astronomy in college as well, and study the history of the scientific revolution during my time at university. Your explanations are always quite good, and enjoyable to read. You reinforce concepts and knowledge I've long since forgotten, and I enjoy reading what you write. You hit a lot of key points and tend to keep it simple and clear. Thanks for sharing with the forum.


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Mar 30, 2016 18:54 |  #54

TCampbell wrote in post #17954052 (external link)
I use Starry Night Pro Plus 7 to do my event searches and inspection of where an object will be in the sky at a given time, etc. It has an advanced object search and also an advanced event search feature that lets me search for things such as (in this case) solar transits.

Stellarium will present a view of the sky at any given date & time and from any given location, but it doesn't have advanced search capabilities (just simple object search.)

However, you can find numerous websites that will list (or let you search for) these events.

Thanks TC I also have SN Pro but not the Plus version and have just located where do locate transits. Thanks for this tip!

I also found a Google Play app called ISS Transit Prediction Pro and have installed it on my phone. Appears to be just what I need.

Danny


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Mar 30, 2016 20:24 |  #55

heldGaze wrote in post #17954250 (external link)
Ah, in reading your post I had read it as you were in Charlotte for some reason. I'm down in Reynoldstown. But like I said, my girl's mother's birthday is the 5th. So we may stay the weekend down in Middle GA and bring my scope down there to share the event with her family. But if the ISS is going to pass such that somewhere in Atlanta has the view for a double transit, forget that, I'm going to set up my telescope here in town and attempt to get that rarest of events! My girl's family loves me, they'll understand if we bail on Sunday.

Do you have places already in mind in the city for viewing this? I'm trying to think of some park where I would go to set up my telescope. My camera can run off mains, so it would be cool to have a power outlet available. But, I've been wanting to buy more spare batteries as it is. And I have a cool powerpak that charges AA & AAA batteries, and then can use those same batteries and turns into a power source for charging/powering other devices on the go. So I can probably use that to keep replenishing my camera batts if needed.

But I hadn't even setup my telescope in Atlanta until a couple days before the Opposition of Jupiter. In all the time we've lived here it's just been in the closet due to the fact that I have such a tiny window into the Cosmos.


It's impossible to plan to be in a certain spot until a few days before an ISS transit. The centerline prediction can even change up to a few hours before the transit.

To give you an idea of how the prediction looks and how I plan, I'll post some screenshots from the Calsky site. After entering a search for Smyrna for the next few days, it gave me this. I've circled a couple of important things. The "altitude" is that of the Sun at the time of the transit, and "distance" is to the ISS. While this transit (coming up next week) is really close to me, the sun will be pretty low and the Station will be over 500 miles away (twice as far as a transit that occurs straight overhead). The Station will be too far away for me to get a good shot of it.

IMAGE: https://dougmoon.smugmug.com/photos/i-PG5HBM5/0/L/i-PG5HBM5-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://dougmoon.smugm​ug.com …/i-PG5HBM5-L.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

However, just for the sake of an example, clicking on the link for "centerline",gives you a line on Google Maps of where (and when) to be:

IMAGE: https://dougmoon.smugmug.com/photos/i-z2GHLBD/0/L/i-z2GHLBD-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://dougmoon.smugm​ug.com …/i-z2GHLBD-L.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

Clicking on the red squares gives you the exact time for that spot:

IMAGE: https://dougmoon.smugmug.com/photos/i-KNP3c9x/0/L/i-KNP3c9x-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://dougmoon.smugm​ug.com …/i-KNP3c9x-L.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

I try to set up exactly on the line. I'll zoom in and find a park, shopping center, or something similar that is on the line. The closer you are to the line, the better your odds are of the ISS crossing right across the middle of the Sun.


Once you've done all that, it's a matter of setting up, synchronizing your watch to the exact time, and filling your buffer on your camera at the exact time. An ISS transit lasts around 1/2 a second. There's not enough time to see it and shoot it - it's more about exact timing and whether or not the prediction was correct.

After all that, I take a deep breath, try to stay calm, and start looking through the shots on my LCD, hoping I caught it.

After messing up a couple of times, I've gotten pretty good at catching the ISS, although not all of my shots are as good as the one I posted earlier. I'm still learning.


I hope that wasn't too long of an explanation!


Oh, one more thing - The ISS transit predicted for May 9th will happen at an altitude of somewhere around 70 degrees, which is about the same altitude of the earlier posted shot.

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Mar 30, 2016 20:26 |  #56

SgtDannySgt wrote in post #17955177 (external link)
Thanks TC I also have SN Pro but not the Plus version and have just located where do locate transits. Thanks for this tip!

I also found a Google Play app called ISS Transit Prediction Pro and have installed it on my phone. Appears to be just what I need.

Danny


Or this, lol.

I'll have to check out the app!


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Mar 30, 2016 21:05 as a reply to  @ sandwedge's post |  #57

Interesting, especially the part about not waiting to see it on the camera screen. Thanks.




  
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Mar 30, 2016 21:41 |  #58

SgtDannySgt wrote in post #17955177 (external link)
Thanks TC I also have SN Pro but not the Plus version and have just located where do locate transits. Thanks for this tip!

I also found a Google Play app called ISS Transit Prediction Pro and have installed it on my phone. Appears to be just what I need.

Danny

If you're on Starry Night Pro 7, make sure you've updated to version 7.5 (upgrades within the 7.x are all free).

Once you launch it, make sure the right side panel is displayed (it is displayed by default). Left of the search box are three thin horizontal lines, click them and it pulls up the menu to go to specific features such as "Advanced Find...", "View Status...", "Telescope Control..." etc. You want "Advanced Find..."

This opens a sub-window. You'll see categories called "Sky Objects", "Observing Logs", and "Events".

The "Sky Objects" is the advanced object search. The "Events" is the advanced events search. Select "Events."

In that section you'll see a "Type" pull-down menu. Pick "Planetary Events"

The right-side of the same sub-window will change and you want to check "Solar Transits" and uncheck all other types of events. For the planet section pick "Mercury" and uncheck everything else.

On "Visibility" pull down you can set it to either "Visible (Above Horizon)" if you live in a location that can definitely view the event. If unsure you could pick "Visible from Anywhere".

You could set the date to 5/9/2016... but if you were unsure if you were going to have an event and wanted to search a date range then change the date box from "On Date" to "Between" and enter the start and end dates.

Click "Find"

On the right side-panel it will list all events that match your search (in this case it will find the transit of Mercury.)




  
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Mar 30, 2016 22:21 |  #59

samsen wrote in post #17954795 (external link)
Inspeqtor wrote in post #17954674 (external link)
Thank you!!

After seeing your photo I wish it was Venus that was transiting the sun this May, not Mercury... I see we ONLY have to wait until the year 2117 for the next time Venus does this! I can hardly wait!! :cry: :rolleyes:

Maybe Saturn or Jupiter will transit the Sun soon! <grin>

Charles; I hope you realize that Jupiter and Saturn are in outer orbit, compare to Earth, in relation to Sun. So there will never be such a thing as Transit of Jupiter or Saturn from Earth. Transit can happen only with inferior planets, namely Mercury and Venus.

Yes I do know that Jupiter and Saturn will never transit the Sun between the Earth and Sun anyway.... that is why I ended with <grin>
Unless there is a catastrophic misalignment of the planets as you described!

Sorry guess I should have been more forthcoming -?


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Mar 31, 2016 04:14 |  #60

sandwedge wrote in post #17955283 (external link)
It's impossible to plan to be in a certain spot until a few days before an ISS transit. The centerline prediction can even change up to a few hours before the transit.

This is awesome. I think you've mentioned some of this in the past, but I appreciate the detailed reply.

But also, let me rephrase. Do you have places in the city you would set up to view this if the ISS were not involved? Like, do you have favorite parks or locations to go and set up your scope, for daytime viewing and nighttime viewing? I ask because, like I described in a prior post, I have a very small window into the Cosmos in my front yard. So I'm looking for some cool places around town to go with my telescope, other than Esther Peachy Park.

But yeah, if the ISS is passing through the ATL, let me know where you plan to be. My girlfriend and I will meet up and set up our telescope alongside yours and hopefully we both can capture a double transit while chewing the fat. Hopefully it's a place where I can bring a few craft brews too.


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Transit of Mercury - May 9, 2016
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
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Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.