SUN OBSERVATION CAMPAIGN WITH LARGE BASELINE. EXPEDITIONS TO CERRO PARANAL AND TENERIFE.
A presentation is available here. The embedded videos are here 1, 2 ,3, 4 and 5. Please put them in the same folder to be visualized in the powerpoint.
As part of the Sun related CESAR activities, and continuing the extraordinary experience from the Venus Transit 2012, two expeditions were organized to observe the unique event from 2 distant locations on Earth. The selected sites were Cerro Paranal, in the Andes range, Chile, and the European Space Astronomy Center ESAC in Madrid, Spain. This is a large baseline of 9943km (surface distance) with full transit visibility and good statistical chances of clear skies. But due to the bad weather, we observed from the Teide Observatory in Tenerife island (Spain) instead of Madrid. The dataset offered unique information and spectacular parallax effects in two spectral ranges (h-alpha and white light). The acquired images were transmitted wordlwide LIVE via these links (link1 and link2). A public educational interactive event was set up, in which the involved experts presented what was hapenning, and were asked in an interactive Q&A session through Twitter.
Animation: differential rotation of the Paranal-Madrid basline during the whole transit, as seen from the Sun. Simulations: Miguel Pérez Ayúcar
Visibility map and expeditions location
Surface distance. Cerro Paranal - ESAC: 9973km
PARALLAX MEASUREMENTS DURING THE MERCURY TRANSIT 2016
One of the educational goals is to determine the Mercury parallax and derive the Astronomical Unit (A.U.) measure, using the images obtained during the transit from Cerro Paranal and Tenerife. CESAR provides educational laboratory exercises that guide students through similar exercises, like in this link (developed for Venus). The Mercury parallax measurement is more challenging than Venus', as the relative sizes and parallax is smaller. Mercury is just 12", while Venus was 58". This means that the Sun is 158 times larger than Mercury! A specific case for Mercury will be added.
Mercury projected on the Sun disk. Views from Madrid-ESAC (red) and Cerro Paranal-ESO (green), showing the parallax.
Mercury parallax ESAC (red) Paranal (green). Zoom on ingress (left and egress (right).
GENERAL LINKS TO SOLAR OBSERVATIONS
Catching Sunlight: A TEDx Talk by DIY Solar Photographer Alan Friedman: link