Picture of the Moment...

The planet Mercury caught in a rare transit across the face of the Sun

Portrait of the Sun at 8:53am BST

The planet Mercury caught in transit across the Sun, the first to be seen from the UK for 30 years. The arrows show the direction of travel and mark the entry and exit points. The event lasted just over 5 hours and this picture shows Mercury at its furthest distance from the edge of the Sun.

The numbers refer to sunspot designations. The blinding light from the Sun was reduced by a factor of 100,000 to a safe level using an Orion white-light solar filter - do not try this at home without proper equipment!

Click the picture or here for the full story and a time lapse record of the event.

7 May 2003. Minolta Dimage 7 through 80mm Helios refractor, 1/256 @ f/4.8, ISO200

Picture added on 10 May 2003

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