The Transit of Mercury 2003 May 7 

A relatively rare alignment of the Earth, Mercury and the Sun occurred on the 2003 May 7th when the planet Mercury was observed to pass across the face of the Sun. Occurring on average only 13 times per century, these events, called "transits", are really quite special and it was fascinating to see the tiny black circular dot of Mercury contrasting with the brilliant solar photosphere. A nearby sunspot provided an interesting comparison.

From Scotland the transit started around 6:10am and finished around 11:30am; from my home location it was observed through thin, hazy, then thickening, cloud.  

 

Taken at 07:03UT through a telescope with an effective focal length of 1680mm and f/11 with an OD 5.0 solar filter fitted to the front; 1/30s exposure onto 200ASA film.
A minute or so before emersion Mercury is visible as a small nick in the edge of the sun's disk.

 

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