As a photographer I love an opportunity to test myself, to capture something rarely seen or rarely occurring. After all isn't that what we all started out to do, to capture and keep those wonderful moments that life provides as we stumble along our own pathway through it. So it will be no surprise to see I made an effort at capturing the transit of Mercury today.
Our sun doesn't rise early enough at this time of year to capture a 'start - middle - end' sequence, so the transit was already well underway when we got our view of it. I'm not sure it really matters so much as the images are not something to pour over, but it is a great memory to capture.
I already had a solar filter from my 2017 eclipse shoot so why not put it to use. I set up my 100 - 400 mm lens with a 2x extender on it giving me 800 mm, then I set aside the 5d and used the 7d mkII to take advantage of the crop sensor providing an additional 0.6 multiplier which gave me an overall lens equivalent of 1280 mm. I struggled with thin cloud and haze between me and the target but still managed to capture a few reasonable shots of the event.
So, my image today is not the usual fare, it's another planet speeding past, approximately 75 million km away from earth. The background is a spectacular star made of hot plasma 150 million km away. It shows the scale of the sun when you realise that Mercury is 5000 km in diameter and the sun is twice as far away, what a spectacular place we live in, and what wonders it provides.
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