IRIS releases new imagery of Mercury transit

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

On May 9, 2016, a NASA solar telescope called the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observed Mercury crossing in front of the sun – an astronomical phenomenon known as a Mercury transit. This movie shows a composite of the IRIS imagery, in the inset, and imagery from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, as the golden background with a view of Mercury’s transit moving from left to right across the bottom. The thin, dark line that appears in the IRIS imagery is a slit that helps focus incoming light for an instrument called a spectrograph. Lockheed Martin designed the IRIS observatory and manages the mission for NASA. For more on Mercury transit:

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