Today was the day of the great Mercury transit of the sun. Obviously NASA is the place to go for pictures of this event, which is, to be honest, not super exciting. However, I was curious whether my little camera could capture the transit.

I wasn’t hopeful, and when I woke up in the morning there was a solid marine layer filling the sky. So much for catching even the middle of the transit. But by 9:30 the clouds had burned off so I puttered out to my backyard to point my camera at the sun and see what I could get.

For you camera nerds out there, my settings were f/11, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/32000, and a 10x neutral density filter. And that was barely enough.

But enough it was. To my surprise, I got some perfectly decent pictures. Here’s my earliest one, with Mercury nearing the end of its transit. You can see it a lot better if you right-click and then select “View Image.”

November 11, 2019 — Irvine, California

Here it is a few minutes later:

Now it’s getting very close to the edge of the sun:

And finally it’s officially egressing the sun, just a barely visible dot at the very edge of the corona:

And that’s it. The next transit of Mercury is in 2032. Mark your calendars.

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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