On the cold and blustery morning of November 11, 2019 the planet Mercury transited the Sun, and the Santa Fe Stargazers were out in-force to offer the public the opportunity to observe this rare event.
Mercury transits are rare: every century typically sees 13 – 14 transits. Since a transit lasts only a small fraction of a day, transits visible from any particular place on Earth are much rarer: this transit is the last to be visible from Santa Fe before 2049.
Assembling at 8:30 AM in the parking lot of the Vista Grande Public Library, nine member of the Santa Fe Stargazers set-up five telescopes equipped for safe solar observing, a large, informational poster on transits in general and this transit in particular, and traffic cones to protect the telescopes and the observing public. More than 25 members of the general public took advantage of the viewing and the informational display before the transit ended at just after 11:00 AM.
Once Mercury cleared the disk of the Sun there was not much to see: the Sun’s face was unblemished by sunspots and there were no obvious prominences or flares.
Many thanks to Tom Aldern, Jim Baker, Jim Eagle, Brad Jones, F-M Patorni, Robert Powers, & Sam Finn, for putting together this great opportunity for the public!