Astronomers show Leamington public transit of Mercury

A group of amateur astronomers allowed onlookers in Leamington town centre to observe the transit of Mercury.

Monday, 9th May 2016, 2:57 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2016, 4:02 pm
From left to right: Mark Edwards, Geoffrey Johnstone and Andrew Rolls of the Coventry and Warwickshire Astronomical Society

Members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Astronomical Society set up telescopes by the Pump Room Gardens for passers-by to peer through and observe the planet crossing the path of the Sun.

Geoffrey Johnstone, one of the members present, said: “We wanted to show the general population what’s going on in the sky.

“It’s so people don’t miss out really. We’ve had hundreds look through the telescope - it’s been very busy.”

The weather was kind to the astronomers - the lack of cloud meant Mercury was clearly visible against the Sun when peering through the specialist telescope.

The transit of Mercury is relatively uncommon - the last one which was not obscured by cloud was in 2003, and the next ones are due to happen in 2019 and 2032.