Mercury Transit 2019

The Greater Hazleton Area Astronomical Society

The astronomy club had the opportunity in November 11, 2019 to view the Mercury transit across our closest star which is our sun. We had two scopes onsite at the Hazleton Soccer Fields. According to the weather forecast over the weekend it was supposed to be cloudy well it was a sure surprise on the day of the event. It was clear skies at 7:00 am and there was a rush of panic and getting everything together to look at the Mercury transit. I (Paul) was very much in a panic. What do I do? I grabbed my gear and headed over to the soccer fields to view the event. I was very disorganized I kept messing up my tripod and finally got that all straightened then I put my solar scope on the tripod that was untested for this event. I had issues on pointing on my solar scope at the Sun and I looked at the time and it was 7:28 AM I only had two minutes to spare to view the start of the event. I finally looked through the solar scope and I saw a very small dot on the surface on the sun and I was imagining to see this giant object in front of the Sun but nope it was a little dark dot moving across the Sun. The dark dot of course was our planet Mercury. I reached out to my buddies to meet me on the field to the view the event. Bill Kennedy brought is Celestron 1100 HD telescope with a solar filter and I had my Coronado solar scope. Bill Kennedy had issues too and he forgot his eye pieces and he was very relieved that he had a spare. Dave Berish and Rick Ginanni were onsite viewing the spectacular event and this was our first time to see Mercury crossing the sun. We had discussions all weekend on how crappy the weather was going to be and had to wait to 2032 to see the next Mercury transit. It was by God’s grace that we got to see the event. We all learned lessons about our equipment and about the transit of Mercury. It was all good!

Rick Ginanni
Paul Smaglik
David Berish
Bill Kennedy