We observed the 9 May 2016 transit of Mercury with the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope of the Big Bear Solar Observatory of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in California and with smaller telescopes in Germany. The solar granulation behind the silhouette of Mercury can be aligned, showing Mercury's parallax. From these observations, the value of the solar parallax can be determined, showing historical parallels. As a second method of making the parallactic shift of Mercury visible and the distance to the sun measurable, we aligned photos taken with telescopes of shorter focal lengths, for instance, by using the prominent sunspots.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #49
- Pub Date:
- October 2017