In those images of the sun can you spot the planet Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet? It took about five hours crossing in front of the enormous solar disk in 2003, as viewed from the general vicinity of planet Earth. Image credit SOHO – EIT Consortium, NASA. Need help spotting Mercury?… click here
Seen as a dark spot, Mercury progresses from left to right (top panel to bottom) in these four images from SOHO’s extreme ultraviolet camera. The panels’ false-colors correspond to different wavelengths in the extreme ultraviolet which highlight regions above the Sun’s visible surface.
This was the first of 14 transits of Mercury which will occur during the 21st century.
Next week an event much more rare but easier to spot will occur : a transit of Venus across the Sun.