Some days, no matter what you do, it just isn’t going to happen.

Mercury’s transit of the sun. At least that was the plan.

As you might guess from my post yesterday, I was seriously looking forward to Mercury’s transit of the sun today. But the day began here in southern Iowa with dense cloud cover. All morning long I kept looking outside hoping for the clouds to thin out.

That didn’t happen until a little before 1 pm. I was ready and hoping with my gear set up. Every once in a while I could see the outline of the sun through the clouds for a few seconds and then it would disappear. That was about it. A few seconds here and there and then the sun would be gone. Nothing like what I needed: a couple of minutes of clear sky around the sun.

This is what the sun looks like through the clouds. Orange and fuzzy. Nothing like the clarity of my photos two years ago during the eclipse. Is Mercury in there? Yes, but I certainly can’t see it. I will take NASA’s word that Mercury was where it was supposed to be (and photos by a friend who lives in Colorado). This photo was taken at 1:03 pm, one minute before the transit ended, so Mercury was right at the sun’s edge. Mercury won’t do this again until 2032.

Total Solar Eclipse Map, April 8, 2024. Click for a larger version.

In the meantime, the shadow of a total solar eclipse will cross the United States from Texas to Maine, April 8, 2024. I can’t wait!

Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017.

If photographing the sun interests you, there are sunspots on a periodic basis. And anything you do to photograph the sun now will prepare for the big eclipse in 2024. Everything you need to know is in the link below.

The Sun’s corona during eclipse totality, August 21, 2017.


The Great American Eclipse Series (August 21, 2017)  – The August 2017 eclipse is over but the sun is still there ready to be photographed. You can still do solar photography and get ready for the next big American eclipse in 2024. This series of articles will show you how. And there will be partial solar eclipses in North America June 10, 2021 and October 14, 2023.