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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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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