————————- The sun will rise tomorrow night at 10:23 pm Eastern (5:23 am Pacific), and will be fully in the morning sky (not the “light” sky that you see at sunrise or sunset), before sinking into the morning mist in between 12:15 am and 1:15 am (2:15AM and 4:15AM), at which point the day will be starting to darken. After the day’s darkening, Mercury will become brighter and you will see it rise just before dawn, and then sink into the sun sometime near noon or about 4:30 pm. Then, after sunrise, or around noon, the sky will gradually cool down enough that the planet Mercury will fall into a deep, deep twilight (or is completely black) at about 7:45 PM, and you will have around 12 hours to see the sunset. The sun will then rise again a few hours later as sunlight heats up a little (depending on the latitude of the location, the evening time of day could be 12:15 (noon) or 2:15 (evening). Then you will have another hour or more to make sure you see Mercury, in the deep twilight before sunrise during the day’s sunrise (or dusk). In general, this is a nice light day to go out, so long as the sun is setting at least a little for you to photograph it. Mercury’s transit is a wonderful opportunity for some skywatching to accompany a late dinner, though if that’s the case, I’ll usually head out before dinner if I have much in the way of time to spare. You probably won’t get lucky with this transiting Mercury if you don’t have good vision, either. What to expect: Mercury will enter behind the horizon in its position of lowest eclipse. It will remain above the middle of the heavens at this point through most of the evening. In the morning, it will appear to be almost completely covered by the dark sky of southern springtime, and will be partially eclipsed by the sun in the afternoon. Note: There is, of course, no reason to watch the eclipse if you have very dark eyes. But that’s your choice! In short, you will have more than seven hours to get the good photos. As stated before, the last transiting Mercury was in 2016. A great time for a photo is mid-the-day Thursday afternoon to early-morning Friday, as Mercury will be high enough above the horizon that it’s not totally out of view. It will appear to be in mid-farther than the sun as it goes around the Sun, meaning that the moon won’t be shining very brightly. However, it will still be overhead because it is in the same plane of Earth as the Earth and Sun.
A close-up of the evening sunrise: This is an incredible photo, if you’ve got a decent prime lens. This is after sunset. What to expect: Mercury will be in the morning sky in early morning twilight as it is at now. After noon, it will get considerably dimmer, but it will have reached its greatest darkness until just before sunrise. It will be fully out of the evening sky by dusk, in order to completely cover the sky. As it’s descending into the dusk, the sky will start to start to get somewhat more visible, and soon you’ll see the surface of the sun in a bright, dark twilight as the night ends.
The eclipse is over! (If you can’t see the Mercury in all of these photos, look again through an image preview. Also, you may get a really weird feeling that your camera’s flash isn’t working correctly.)
How to get free eclipse photos or videos of the transit: After your eclipse, make sure you stop by the Science Center of your city to check out how to make free eclipse photos or videos of the transit, and I will be over there very soon to answer your questions.