Account of the Mercury Transit 7.5.03 By EAAS Member, Billy Graham


Unfortunately when I checked early this morning (5:30am) it was very misty around me, so no early viewing possible. I was unable to get any viewing done until nearly 7:45am. The viewing conditions were excellent at that time so I decided to phone into work and take the morning off to continue viewing. Viewing conditions remained very good though there were some intermittent cloud blowing across my view, but nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately due to my starting time I missed the Contacts 1 and 2 but I got great viewing in between waiting for contacts 3 and 4. Unfortunately the clouds moved in around 11:00am and I thought my viewing was finished. I hung on and just in the nick of time the clouds broke to give me a further 5 minutes viewing just as contact 3 was about to occur.

I watched Mercury move to the Sun's edge and just touch it before thick cloud covered my view once more. I waited another 10 minutes but it was obvious the cloud wasn't going to break any time soon so I packed up and headed into work.

I have no experience with astro-photography yet, though I hope to get some advice if I can make it to the EAAS open day, and as such was unable to record my observations on film. However I did a few drawings at the time and with time to spare between 9am and 11am I took a good look at he rest of while, though the small one's only became obvious after careful viewing. I noted all their positions down on my drawings:

Transit of Mercury - Tuesday 07/05/2021

As observed from Carrickfergus, 54.7 N, 5.7 W.

Drawing composed from observations made using a Meade LX200 12" f/10 Telescope, of 3048mm focal length, using a 12.4mm Meade 2000 series Super-Plossl eyepiece (x 246 magnification). A Kendrick 12" Solar filter was used. Viewing conditions were excellent at times but cloudy at others. I was unable to observe any further than 'contact 3' due to complete cloud coverage. Observations & drawing by Billy Graham.

There was quite a big Sun Spot visible, a number of smaller ones, and 2 groups of bigger but irregular-shaped spots just disappearing (or ? appearing) around the edge of the Sun. The drawing is how I saw it through the telescope so is upside-down and back to front.

The locations and sizes of the various objects in my drawing are as accurate as I could make them but I don't think they are too far off. The timings noted were from my wrist-watch which is probably a few minutes out!

I have attached for your viewing observations this morning along with a wee photograph of me (and thanks to my wife for supplying the tea every half hour!).

How did you get on with your own viewing? Hope things went well at your end of the country. I'm looking forward to seeing any photographs you managed to take.


Best wishes, Billy.


For further information contact the EAAS Chairman.