Mercury passing across the Sun's surfaceNASA
It is not always that we are reminded of our insignificance in the universe so bluntly. And such events as this, never fail to thrill us. NASA released fascinating images of Mercury making a rare transit across the Sun’s face, which happens only 13 times in a century.
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During this 2019 transit, Mercury spent 5.5 hours moving in front of the Sun from our perspective on Earth. Skywatchers from all over the world could see some part of Mercury's movements across the Sun, but only with telescopes or solar-filtered binoculars.
Several spacecraft, along with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), watched the event from space.
The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) enables us to see the solar chromosphere and corona in seven extreme ultraviolet channels with the help of continuous full-disk observations.
The high-definition photographs show the tiny planet Mercury diving past the solar wing and crossing the Sun’s face.
SDO took images in different wavelengths, including extreme ultraviolet that reveals the Sun’s surface with blazing magnetic field lines.
You can watch the full transit from here.
Skywatchers from all around the world took images of the event too.
— Viv Porteous Photo (@Viv_167) November 11, 2019
People were out in the fields, wishing for a cloudless sky and trying to get a glimpse of Mercury, as it appeared on the surface of the Sun as a tiny dot.
Transit of Mercury! Taken with my 8-inch reflector, ZWO ASI1600MM Pro camera, and Seymour Solar filter. #MercuryTransit#space#astronomy#astrophotography#sun#mercurypic.twitter.com/rO9FekK5pG— Molly Wakeling (@mollycule509) November 11, 2019
And this user had something humorous to say!
Looks like Freddie Mercury transited the face of the sun today #Mercurytransitpic.twitter.com/SvqNspvjk6— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) November 11, 2019
Humans were not the only ones who enjoyed the phenomenon.
My kitten Shelby seemed to enjoy the #MercuryTransitpic.twitter.com/6c0WsPEgsZ— Alexander (@alexanderwrob) November 11, 2019
There are other stars out there that make our gigantic Sun look like Mercury. Don’t you feel small yet?