Saturday, April 23, 2016

Transit of Mercury – 2016

Observation Program for Mercury Transit for all Astro lovers Date: 09th May 2016 Time 4.00pm to Sunset

1. Bhuj - Place Mundra Relocation Site Char Rasta Prathmik School Bhuj contact no. 9428220472
2. Mandavi- Gurukul School of science Koday Pool Contact. No. 9033387374

બુધ પારગમનની ઘટના નિહાળવાની વ્યવસ્થા કચ્છ એસ્ટ્રોનોમી ક્લબ દ્વારા ગોઠવવામાં આવી છે.
જ્યારે પૃથ્વી અને સૂર્યની વચ્ચે ચન્દ્રમા આવી જાય છે ત્યારે સૂર્ય ગ્રહણની ઘટના બને છે પરંતુ સૂર્ય અને પૃથ્વીની વચ્ચે આવેલા ગ્રહો શુક્ર કે બુધમાંથી કોઈ ગ્રહ બરાબર સૂર્ય અને પૃથ્વીની વચ્ચે આવે છે ત્યારે પારગમનની ઘટના બને છે. ચન્દ્ર પૃથ્વીની નજીક હોવથી તે મોટો દેખાય છે જ્યારે બુધ અને શુક્ર ચન્દ્રની સરખામણીએ બહુ દૂર હોવાથી તે નાના ટપકાં સ્વરૂપે સૂર્યની તકતી/બિંબ ઉપરથી પસાર થતો દેખાય છે. આ બાબતે વધુ માહિતી આપતાં કચ્છ એસ્ટ્રોનોમી ક્લબ ના પ્રમુખ નરેન્દ્ર ગોરે  જણાવ્યું હતું કે આવતી કાલે 9 મે ના થનાર બુધ પારગમન ભારતમાં સાંજે 16.42 કલાકે બુધ સૂર્યની તકતીમાં પ્રવેશ કરશે અને સૂર્યાસ્ત સુધી જોઈ શકાશે ભારતમાં પશ્ચિમ ભાગે આવેલા કચ્છમાં સૂર્યાસ્ત મોડો થતો હોઈ કેટલાક ખગોળ વૈજ્ઞાનિકો મુંબઈથી ખાસ સંશોધન માટે કચ્છ માં ધામા નાખ્યા છે. જાહેર જનતા તથા ખગોળ રસિકો માટે બુધ પારગમનની અનોખી ખગોળીય ઘટનાને નિહાળવાની ખાસ વ્યવસ્થા કચ્છ એસ્ટ્રોનોમી ક્લબ દ્વારા ટેલિસ્કોપિક પ્રોજેક્શન દ્વારા મુન્દ્રા રીલોકેશન સાઈટ ચાર રસ્તા પ્રાથમિક શાળાની અગાસી ઉપર કરવામાં આવેલ છે આવી ઘટના ફરીથી જોવા માટે ભારતના લોકોએ ઈ.સ. 2032 સુધી રાહ જોવી પડશે જેથી આ ઘટનાનો લાભ લેવા તથા વધુ માહિતી માટે 9428220472 ઉપર સંપર્ક સાધવો

Transit of Mercury – 2016

The tiny inner planet Mercury will be seen passing across the Sun (transit) on 9th May, 2016. Although the event will happen fourteen times this century, the next one visible from India will be in 2032. Hence the 2016 transit is a great opportunity to catch this mini-eclipse and also for us to utilise for astronomy outreach.
The small disk of Mercury on the disk of the Sun | Image © ESO

The Sequence of the Transit:

Monday, 9 May, 2016

Start transit : 16:30 IST → 1/4th transit : 18:30 IST → Mid transit : 20:30 IST → End Transit : 00:32 IST

What will we see?

Path & important times of the Transit for Indian observers.
Path & important times of the Transit for Indian observers.
The event starts at about 4:30 pm and is visible all over India. The first contact occurs at 16:32 IST; however the entrance of the dot may go unnoticed since the contrast at the edge is not sufficient enough. Within minutes the planet Mercury will appear as a tiny dot on the Eastern limb of the solar disc and will become identifiable. Watch out for other sunspots too that may be present.
Mercury will appear as a dot on the solar disc moving roughly from East to West. For an Indian observer this would mean that Mercury will move from the "top" towards the "bottom" of the Sun as it moves towards the western horizon.
As the dot moves inwards the center of the Sun's image, the visibility will improve. Mercury will be at a quarter of its path in front of the Sun at about 18:30 IST. The central point occurs at 20:27 IST when the sun would have set long for us in India.
The best opportunity to view the transiting Mercury is after an hour into the event, when the effect of atmospheric absorption is still not strong enough. The transit continues beyond the sunset. Hence it should be safe to try to look for it or photograph it on the setting Sun. However the size of Mercury being small, recognising it as a black dot requires extra effort. A magnification tool (binocular / telescope) is definitely needed unlike in the case of Venus in 2012, which was strikingly noticeable as a fairly large spot.

Observational constraints:

Regions seeing at least some parts of the transit
Regions seeing at least some parts of the transit: Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica | Image © Time and Date AS
In India, we will catch only the initial part of the transit before sunset. Most of Central and South India will see up to the initial 1/4th of the transit and North and West India will see the initial 3/8th of the transit. The Eastern part of India will see the initial 1/8th of the transit only. This translates to 2 hrs, 3 hrs and 1 hr respectively. Discounting the last hour (haze, clouds, dust, landscape etc), that gives us 1, 2 and 0 hrs respectively. This is what we will have to work with and make the best of.
CityAreaSunset time
SrinagarNorth19:20 IST
ImphalEast17:48 IST
NagpurCentre18:42 IST
BhujWest19:23 IST
MaduraiSouth18:30 IST

Sun Set time for the Kutch Places

Rapar                  19.20
Gandhidham      19.21
Mundra               19.23
Bhuj                     19.23
Mandavi             19.24
Khavada              19.24
Nakhatrana         19.25
Naliya                  19.27
Lakhapat             19.28
Koteshwar           19.29

Gujarat Places

Rajkot              19.17
Dwarka             19.25
Porbandar        19.21
Junagadh         19.17
Bhavnagar        19.11
Jamnagar          19.20
Ahmedabad       19.11
Nadiyad              19.10
Surat                   19.07
Vadodara            19.08
Mahesana           19.13

કેટલીક મહત્વની બાબતો
- બુધ પારગમન સદી માં 13 વખત થાય છે
- તે મે અથવા નવેમ્બર માં થાય છે
- મે મહિનામાં બુધ પૃથ્વીથી નજીક હોવાથી મોટો દેખાય છે

- આ વખતે પાર ગમનની ઘટના  7.5 કલાક જેટલો સમય ચાલશે.  

In addition, it is obvious that since Mercury is only 1/158 of the Sun's apparent diameter, a telescope with a magnification of 50x or more is needed to watch this event. See below for help with this.

Sharing the Transit

If you have a small telescope, know how to project the Sun's image, and have access to a public location from where the western sky can be seen clearly, try and set up an observation by inviting the local community to come and watch the Transit with you. Join us in a nationwide effort to share this spectacle with all people. Please use the form linked below to register your event.

Register your event in a nationwide effort to share this spectacle with all people.

Using Telescope or Binoculars:

A simple projection setup made from a cardboard shield and a piece of white paper as a projection surface.
A simple projection setup made from a cardboard shield and a piece of white paper as a projection surface. Image © Sky & Telescope
Warning: It is very dangerous to observe the Sun through any unfiltered optical system (lenses, binoculars, telescopes & even your bare eye). This may cause serious eye damage and even blindness. The transit observation also involves looking at the sun and hence all the precautions that apply to the observations of Sunspots and Eclipses apply here too and are essential.
* Good quality "Eclipse goggles" (without any tiny holes in them!) may be used, but Mercury will be very hard to spot with the naked eye.
* A better arrangement will be to put Mylar sheets or commercially available Solar filters in front of the objectives of the binoculars / telescopes that you are using. The magnification provided by binocular should suffice to show the event.
* Projections with small telescopes, similar to those done for solar eclipses, would be ideal. We recommend this method as it can give you larger images and they can also be shown to many people.


Here are some more resources about safe viewing methods and accessories :
Here are some informative webpages :

POEC's ToM activities

Aim of the campaign
  • Put out material on transits, and hence eclipses and conjunctions, in the public media. This will help in
    (a) combating superstitions and
    (b) promote general astronomy knowledge
  • To get the public, but especially the students to see the transit in some form or the other
    Use the transit to get students to do Daytime Astronomy experiments
1. Observational
  • Promote observation of this event via workshops or resource material and content for such workshops.
  • Arrange, with help from 4-5 locations around the country (observatories + amateurs) for a live broadcast on the web and on TV.
2. Organisational
  • Bring out a booklet on the history and astronomy of the transit, and how to observe the transit.
  • Translate the booklet and put all the pdfs up online for free.
  • Ask small telescope owners to register with us for showing the Transit to the public.
  • Co-ordiante with media & share the information in relevant circles.
Resource available from :

1 comment:

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