Hinode Watches from Orbit as Mercury Crosses the Sun

The international Hinode solar-observing satellite captured the transit of Mercury as it passed between Earth and the Sun on Nov. 11, 2019. Transits like this can be used to measure the distance between Earth and the Sun. Hinode is a joint endeavor by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), European Space Agency, United Kingdom Space Agency and NASA. These images were taken with Hinode's X-Ray Telescope (XRT), which observes the solar atmosphere at millions of degrees. Additional movies from the XRT are available from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and JAXA.

Credits: JAXA/NASA/SAO/Montana State University/NAOJ