Exercises in Photographing Mercury in front of the Sun
and in Measuring its Position

First off all and most important:
NEVER try to photograph the Sun without using a solar filter (made from glass or film)!

Detailed annotations about building solar filters, mounting the camera, ... can be found on Tim Cole's noteworthy page Solar imaging with a digital camera, in an article of "Sky and Telescope" and in Fred Espanak's Transit of Mercury 2016 page.
On this page we only give short tips in order to motivate the participants doing exercises early before May 9th.

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Digitally photographing of the Sun
Multiple exposuring
Position Measurements

Digitally photographing of the Sun

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Taking "twice exposured pictures"

In order to be able to determine the position angle of Mercury with respect to the direction to west we propose to photograph the Sun twice with fixed camera. Afterwards, these pictures can be superimposed using a software like ImageJ. The combined picture will show the westward motion of the Sun due to the Earth's daily rotation.
Precondition of this procedure is, of course, that the size of the Sun in the picture is small enough so that it may show more than one image of the Sun. The smaller the Sun's face is compared with the size of the picture the longer can the time intervall be chosen and the more exactly the orientation of the picture can be determined.
The following hints may be useful:

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Measuring Mercury's position with respect to the Sun's center

In this way, we will try to measure Mercury's position on the solar disc.

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Editor: Udo Backhaus
 last update: 21.04.2016