We only see a Mercury transit every 3.5 to 13 years. On 11 November 2019 this rare event will take place once more. An inferior conjunction occurs as Mercury crosses in front of the Sun and we can observe this in broad daylight. Don’t miss the astronomical highlight of the year! But what do you need to observe it? With the following products you will be well prepared for a successful sighting.
Warning: never look directly at the Sun without a suitable filter. A solar filter is always required for observing.
Solar filter film
The Baader AstroSolar solar filter film is available in various sizes, it is effective and very good value. Use the film to make your own solar filter which you can then attach to the front of your telescope.
The AstroSolar solar filter in 210 x 297mm format
Mounted solar filter
Is do-it-yourself not really your thing? Then a ready-mounted filter is the perfect solution for you. The Omegon filters for smaller telescopes or the Baader ASTF filters are good value and are available for many sizes of telescopes. You simply choose the diameter that suits your telescope and attach the filter to the front of your telescope. Before long you will be safely looking at the Sun and discovering sunspots – and of course Mercury.
Tip: to be certain which filter will fit your telescope, measure the outer diameter of your tube before making your selection.
Omegon solar filter mounted on a photoscope
Solar filter for binoculars and cameras
You can also follow the Mercury transit with binoculars. Just by attaching two normal solar filters? This works particularly well with the AstroSolar binocular filter. They are laterally cut in such a way that they don’t make contact even with objective lenses that are very close together. This is also an advantage for DSLR cameras: the flattened filter edges makes it possible to attach a camera flush to a telescope or a mounting plate.
ASBF filter for binoculars and cameras
Even more contrast is on offer from the professional for solar observing: a Herschel wedge. Combined with a ND3.0 filter it can be connected to a refracting telescope. The advantage: you see the Sun in front of a black background, and the granulation and sunspots appear in unimagined levels of detail.
A Herschel wedge offers a beautiful picture of the Sun with a refractor
You will experience a bit of the action when observing the Sun in H-alpha light. In a very narrow, deep-red band with a wavelength of 656nm you can observe a very active Sun. Prominences flare millions of kilometers into space and are changing rapidly. Even when you see no sunspots on the Sun, there is almost always something to see.
H-alpha solar telescope from Coronado
Mercury transit T-Shirt
For huge fans of astronomy: show your passion for astronomy with the new Mercury transit T-shirt. It shows the progress of the transit with all the important information and timings. So anyone can look to see when Mercury will appear in front of the Sun, or how long we still need to wait until the next transit.
Omegon Mercury transit T-shirt
Photographing the Sun swiftly and simply: with a smartphone adapter you can quickly take beautiful pictures of the Mercury transit. It works really well with small telescopes. Simply attach the Omegon smartphone adapter to your eyepiece, and soon you will be capturing these astronomical moments for ever.
Omegon Easypic universal smartphone adapter
Omegon 70/400 Backpack with solar filter
If you are looking for a small travel solar telescope, then the Omegon Backpack 70/400 AZ is perfect. The set includes a finder scope, mirror star-diagonal, eyepieces and of course the appropriate solar filter. You get all of this together in a practical rucksack.
Omegon AC-70-400 Backpack solar telescope
The Sun on your neck
When observing the Sun for hours on end you need to take precautions against sunburn. A normal hat only protects the scalp. But when you are bending forward and observing through an eyepiece then your neck is exposed to the Sun. Lunt offers appropriate protection against this: a sun hat with neck protection.
Sun hat with neck protection
Finding the Sun made easy
Sometimes its hard to believe how hard it can be to find the Sun with a telescope without spending a lot of time searching for it. Finding it is much easier with the Geoptik 1.25’’ solar finder.
Simply attach the sun finder to your focuser and right away you can centre the Sun over your mount’s axes. The Euro EMC solar finder offers an alternative way of finding the Sun. It consists of a pinhole and a small screen onto which a small image of the sun is projected. Simply attach the finder to your tube using the Velcro straps included.
Geoptik solar finder
Equipped with these you’ll be well prepared for the Mercury transit.