Transit of Mercury
- Published: Wednesday, 11 May 2016 12:04
On Monday there was a rare opportunity to observe a Transit of Mercury, with the clear sky allowing a wonderful insight into our place in the dynamic solar system.
A transit occurs when the planet passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, and its orbit is tilted at such an angle that we see it as a tiny dot crossing the disc of the Sun. This was the first transit visible from the UK since 2003, and there will be others in 2019 and 2032.
Mr Cook set up the Physics department telescope, solar-scopes and solar viewing glasses to allow the event to be observed safely, and he enthusiastically described the science of the transit while the planet progressed on its journey in the background.