Northants amateur astronomer captures image of Transit of Mercury

The Mercury transit taken at Stanion Village Hall

The Mercury transit taken at Stanion Village Hall

A rare astronomical occurrence has been captured on camera by a Northants man.

Stanion and Northants Astronomy Club member Darren Buchan took the picture during yesterday’s Transit of Mercury – an event that happens around 14 times a century.

Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system, moves across the face of the sun during the transit, and appears as a tiny black dot.

Mr Buchan said: “It was taken at Stanion Village Hall on Monday using a Skywatcher 200p telescope and with a canon 1200d camera attached.”

Public Astronomer Dr Marek Kukula said the transit was an “exciting” occurrence.

He said: “The last one was in 2006. These events don’t happen every day, so it was a lovely chance to see it.

“Events like this are important for two reasons – historically they have helped astronomers work out how big the universe was, and now they are used to detect solar systems outside our own and help us understand the scope of the universe.”