2019 November 10

A Mercury Transit Sequence
Image Credit & Copyright:
Dominique Dierick

Explanation: Tomorrow — Monday — Mercury will cross the face of the Sun, as seen from Earth. Called a transit, the last time this happened was in 2016. Because the plane of Mercury’s orbit is not exactly coincident with the plane of Earth’s orbit, Mercury usually appears to pass over or under the Sun. The featured time-lapse sequence, superimposed on a single frame, was taken from a balcony in Belgium shows the entire transit of 2003 May 7. That solar crossing lasted over five hours, so that the above 23 images were taken roughly 15 minutes apart. The north pole of the Sun, the Earth’s orbit, and Mercury’s orbit, although all different, all occur in directions slightly above the left of the image. Near the center and on the far right, sunspots are visible. After Monday, the next transit of Mercury will occur in 2032.

Dominique Dierick

说明: 明天(星期一)从地球看出去,水星会越过太阳盘面。形成自2016年之后,另一次的水星凌日景观。由于水星的轨道面,并不是与地球公转面完全重合,所以大多数时候,水星看似从太阳的上方或下方掠过。这张摄于比利时一座阳台,叠合在单幅照片上的缩时主题影像序列,呈现了2003年5月7日水星凌日的完整过程。该次的凌日历时超过5小时,所以上面叠合的23张照片,拍摄的间隔大约是15分钟。虽然太阳的北极、地球轨道和水星轨道的方向皆不同,它们大致的指向在影像上方稍偏左的方向。在影像的中心和右缘附近,可见到太阳黑子。星期一过后,下次要再看到水星凌日得等到2032年。