Preparing for the mercury transit

Today I was making sure everything is in working order for Monday’s transit of Mercury across the sun.

I was able to fix the issue of the declination runaway motor of our club’s LXD-650 mount, and took some images using the 127mm refractor with a 1,4x teleconverter.

The sun 05-05-2016, Astro-Phsyics 127mm f/8, Nikon TC-14E II, Nikon D750, 1/4000s, Baader ND3.8 photographic solar film

The sun 05-05-2016, Astro-Phsyics 127mm f/8, Nikon TC-14E II, Nikon D750, 1/4000s, Baader ND3.8 photographic solar film

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2003 Mercury Transit

On Monday, 9th of May will be another transit of Mercury across the sun, here are some pictures from May 7th 2003:

Gif animation of mercury entering the suns disc.

Gif animation of mercury entering the suns disc.

Early morning May 7th some amateur astronomers in Vorarlberg packed their gear to observe the Mercury transit from the Bödele above Dornbirn. We had some beautiful weather, and while there were few visitors, TV and Radio came and kept us busy with interviews.

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Active Region 2339

Today the sunspot called AR2339 featured prominently on the sun’s disk:

IMG_7838_1600px IMG_7838_1600px-2

the images are single exposures using a Canon EOS 60Da, and a 127mm f/8 apochromatic refractor, using Baader Solar Film ND3.8 ISO100, 1/8000s

Sunspots 2015-04-18

Today the sun had some nice sunspots and offered a good opportunity to test the new mount I have on loan from the VAA, my astronomy club.

Solar Pinhole Observations

Most people don’ t realize that the bright spots below a tree in the grass are actually images of the sun formed by small holes created through overlapping leaves in the tree’s branches. Because the sun is a sphere, the images are also circular (depending of the angle of the surface).

A similar situation occurs when the sun shines through the small holes in blinds  – round images of the sun are projected against the foor or wall. The images become interesting when the sun’s disk is obscured by something, e.g. the moon during a solar eclipse or trees when the sun is rising or setting on a wooded horizon. Read More

Partial Solar Eclipse – 20.3.2015

While travelling to the Faroe islands or to Svalbard was out of the question, I was able to take a day off for the solar eclipse of March 20th 2015.

The Vorarlberger Amateur Astronomen (VAA) organized an eclipse observation in cooperation with the Pfänder-Bahn at the summit of the Pfänder mountain above Bregenz. Thanks to Kurt Gattnar, who managed the organization from the VAA side, we had a very enjoyable experience. Even carts for our equipment were available! Read More

Monster Sunspot AR2192

Today I had the opportunity to see and photograph the giant sunspot Active Region 2192, it already has rotated a bit away from our direction, so the probability of a massive solar storm with possible damage to space and other infrastructure is reduced.

Full disc view of sunspot AR2192

Detail of the image above:

Closeup of Sunspot AR2192


The images were taken with a Nikon D7000 camera using a Astro-Professional ED80 f/7 doublet refractor. A Baader solar filter ND3.8 was used for filtering the sunlight.