back to article Sic transit Mercury Monday

Mercury will transit the Sun today between 11:12 GMT (7:12 AM EDT, 12:12 BST) and 18:42 GMT (2:42 PM EDT; 19:42 BST), with NASA TV offering a live feed from its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The space agency has full details on its coverage of the event here. The European Space Agency (ESA) will also be catching the action …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    It's just The Cloud Illuminati conspirancy...

    ... clouds force you to watch the event from The Cloud only, so they can track you and Mercury

    (Ok, my setup for taking a video of the contacts was ready, and I planned a day out of the office, instead I'm in the office looking at clouds outside the windows - thereby I'm a bit upset, and don't want to hear the word "cloud" at least for today)

  2. TRT Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Very good...

    headline there.

    1. TitterYeNot
      Coat

      Re: Very good...

      Aye, it'll be a Glorious Monday...

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Very good...

      Based on a comment by EddieD last week: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/32088/

  3. Alister Silver badge

    *Suffice it to say, it's overcast here with light drizzle,

    Thankfully, here in the middle of the UK, it's a cloudless sunny day, for a change.

    1. breakfast
      Coat

      So unusually, azure is up.

  4. TheProf
    Angel

    Visually spectacular

    I'm watching it now! A startling bright white disc with a tiny black spot. Only another 6 hours of it left. Back to the telescope guys!

  5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    My efforts to watch the 1999 total solar eclipse would fit right into that book. But I've kept the filters I had bought for the occasion and can use them now!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    on balance..

    'big whoop'........

  7. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Managed to get a few seeds planted. The rain will do them good.

    Sic - just sic.

    1. ZippedyDooDah

      Re: Managed to get a few seeds planted. The rain will do them good.

      That is an incredible coincidence, I sowed some grass seed yesterday. Our distant Mercurian Gods seem to like to play games.

  8. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge
    WTF?

    Why the fuss?

    Call me blasé, but what is all the hype with this event?

    It's not something that's particularly exceptional, it can happen 10 times in a lifetime.

    Contrary to a solar eclipse (even partial, even on cloudy weather), it's totally imperceptible the average Joe, and requires special equipment to follow a tiny dot moving across a sun disc.

    And I've read a few articles and none of them explained the scientific benefits, i.e what kind of extra information can be gathered from watching Mercury and the Sun during that period.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Why the fuss?

      Nope, it is totally pointless and always has been (unlike the earliest transits of Venus)

      But since no Kardasian is doing anything today it's news, and it allows lots of agencies to fulfill a public understanding of science mandate without any actual science being understood.

      1. ZippedyDooDah

        Re: Why the fuss?

        A little research shows that it wasn't always pointless.

        The mighty Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) predicted the transit within 5 hours of it actually taking place.

        http://www.space.com/32826-mercury-transit-history-and-science.html

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Am I missing something?

      Your Joy organ, perhaps?

      Sometimes it's OK just to enjoy looking at something interesting that doesn't happen every day. If you have kids or are a schoolteacher it can be educational, maybe sparking an interest in astronomy.

      Even if you, personally, have no interest in it, others do so quit being a wet blanket and let people get excited if they want to.

      1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

        Re: Am I missing something?

        @ Sir Sham Cad,

        I'm not trying to spoil everyone's pleasure, I just find the news coverage quite disproportionate to the actual importance of the event.

        I actually have a keen interest in astronomy, as a kid I owned a small telescope and enjoyed looking at planets and solar dots, I still click on all astronomy-related articles and am always amazed when I can enjoy a perfectly clear night sky. I also fully understand the educational benefits of the event, but I'm still not convinced it deserves the headlines it's getting even in non-specialized news media.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Am I missing something?

          You could take measurements yourself and use them to estimate the distance to the sun.

          The real science is generally being done from orbitting observatories today, but schools can always use these events for an "interesting lesson"...

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Whatever tells people to raise their heads from their mobes is welcome...

          ... and if it reminds them also the Earth (and other planets) don't revolve around their fb accounts and whatsapp messages the better.

          And if somebody gets a little more interest in science because of that, instead of just peeping at the average starlet or wag news media are full of, why should we complain for the coverage?

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Why the fuss?

      Call me blasé, but what is all the hype with this event?

      Maybe astronomers have a soft spot for Mercury transits since they were a key support for Einstein's theory of relativity? The thoughts of overthrowing the older Newtonian hegemony probably makes them a bit nostalgic.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity#Perihelion_precession_of_Mercury

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By the way...

    Just in case there are any lower-than-average-intelligence readers out there (which, statistically there should be) please remember it is never safe to look at the sun through a telescope. Slide a bit of paper under it instead. I'm not kidding.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: By the way...

      Slide a bit of paper under it instead. I'm not kidding

      How do you slide a bit of paper under the sun?

      1. Steve Aubrey

        Re: By the way...

        Carefully. And quickly.

      2. cray74

        Re: By the way...

        How do you slide a bit of paper under the sun?

        At night, of course.

      3. Youngdog

        Re: By the way...

        Holding it over your head would be sliding it under the sun

    2. ZippedyDooDah

      Re: By the way...

      Terrible advice, I'm not kidding. A bit of paper would make no difference apart from probably singeing your eyelashes as you very quickly get blinded.

      Think welder's mask glass.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If anyone is interested

    I took this from Macclesfield yesterday afternoon.

    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=7F3877C1DBFB2F81!45978&authkey=!AE71-NxxSEHX8b0&v=3&ithint=photo%2cJPG

    Celestron CPC800 / Olympus e510

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