Busy day and not over yet... while coming down with a cold

Besides staying up way too long to watch election results last night, I have had a totally busy day today. Depending on where on you were, you may have been able to watch Mercury transit the sun. It's one of those types of astronomical events that some people find really neat and others can't figure out what the big deal is. In this case, Mercury is very small and it moves pretty slowly across the disk, but the alignment is fairly rare (the next one is 10 years away and the last one visible from Austin was in 1999). I've linked the above image to a photo I took of the image from our solar telescope at work. It's actually projecting against a wall, so it may look a little weird in places where the paint has chipped a little. All-in-all, it was a neat transit. Now I have the Venus transit of 2012 to look forward to!

And right now I'm sniffling my way through the night-time public viewing on our 16-inch telescope. It's a nice night and I've been clouded out for 4 weeks straight, so it's kind of nice to finally open up again. I just wish I didn't feel so terrible! The next few days at work should be slow (especially compared to today and the very busy few weeks I've had up to now), so hopefully I can take it easy...

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