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Mercury Transit Hawaiian Style Webcast

Mercury Transit

Transit of Mercury composite (10-minute intervals) by M. Connelley and J. Walawender

On the morning of November 8, the planet Mercury passed directly in front of the Sun. Because Hawaii was in the best position in the world to view the entire event, IfA Science Education and Public Outreach Officer Gary Fujihara organized a "Mercury Transit Hawaiian Style" webcast to enable people throughout the world to view this event safely. IfA and amateur astronomers on the summits of Haleakala and Mauna Kea used special telescopes to transmit live images of the transit over the Internet.

The webcast included real-time images of the transit in a variety of wavelengths of light. Interviews with IfA scientists, members of the Haleakala Amateur Astronomers, staff of the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, and students of University of Hawai'i at Hilo supplemented images of the transit. To accommodate the heavy traffic, the webcast on the AstroDay website was mirrored on the IfA website. The two sites had 150,000 hits over two days. Sets of images have been compiled into time-lapse movies of the transit to allow viewers to watch the five-hour transit in a few seconds.

The webcast was a collaboration of the IfA, the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the Haleakala Amateur Astronomers.

To view the transit and interviews online, go to or