On the 9th of May 2016, Mercury crossed the face of the Sun. We observed the transit with a suite of space and ground based telescopes. Hinode/EIS joined in this global effort and captured some beautiful multi-temperature images.
In the movie below, you see Mercury transiting the Sun from left to right. The wavelengths of light that were used cover a range of temperatures from 50,000 K in the chromosphere to 1.86 MK in the corona. The wavelengths are: He II 256 Å (T = 50,000 K), Fe XI 180 Å (T = 1.2 MK), Fe XII Å (T = 1.35 MK), and Fe XIV 274 Å (T = 1.86 MK). These images are made by rastering the 40 arcsec slot across the field of view.
The next opportunity to observe another Mercury transit will not be until the transit of NOvember 2019.
Figure 1: Hinode/EIS movie of Mercury transit from 9 May 2016. Credit: Ignacio Ugarte-Urra and the EIS team.
Thanks to Ignacio Ugarte-Urra and the Hinode team for the observations and movie.