Email Print Share
November 1, 2006

An edited image from the OSPaN telescope shows the relative size of Mercury compared to the sun.

An edited image from the USAF Optical Solar Patrol Network (OSPaN) telescope at NSF's National Solar Observatory, in Sunspot, N.M., depicts Mercury's (the black dot between the cross hairs) approximate relative size as it transits the sun on Nov. 8, 2006. Mercury will have an apparent size of about 1/200th the apparent diameter of the Sun. The image was made Nov. 1, 2006, and the position of "Mercury" on the solar disk does not correspond to the transit path. Transit images will be available at


Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation.

Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (265 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Related story: Mercury to Transit the Sun