Can you spot the planet?
The diminutive disk of Mercury, the solar system's
spent about five hours crossing in front of the enormous solar disk in 2003,
viewed from the general vicinity of planet Earth.
The Sun was above the horizon during
the entire transit for observers
in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia, and the horizon was
no problem for the sun-staring SOHO spacecraft.
Seen as a dark spot,
from left to right (top panel to bottom) in these four images from SOHO's extreme
The panels' false-colors correspond to different wavelengths in
the extreme ultraviolet which highlight regions above the Sun's
was the first of 14 transits of Mercury which will occur during the 21st
Next week, however, an event much more rare but
easier to spot will occur -- a
transit of Venus
across the Sun.
Need help spotting Mercury?
on the picture.