The Observatory is located behind the Oxendine Science Building and next to Moore Hall.
Transit of Mercury
During the transit, Mercury's tiny disk—jet black and perfectly round—will glide slowly across the face of the Sun. Only a speck of the Sun's surface is actually covered, so the Sun remains as dangerous as ever to look at. But with a proper filter and a little imagination, the Transit of Mercury can be a marvelous experience.
There are many ways to safely observe the Sun, e.g., through eclipse glasses or by means of a pinhole projector. In this case, nothing beats a telescope equipped with a sun-safe H-alpha filter. H-alpha filters are narrowly tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen. They reveal the Sun as a boiling inferno, cross-crossed by dark magnetic filaments and peppered with sunspots. Warning: The sight of Mercury navigating this starscape could be mind blowing.
Image credit: Larry Koehn
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2010
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