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ERIC Number: EJ1142625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Using the 2016 Transit of Mercury to Find the Distance to the Sun
Pasachoff, Jay M.; Gährken, Bernd; Schneider, Glenn
Physics Teacher, v55 n3 p137-141 Mar 2017
In this article, the authors describe their use of simultaneous observations of the 2016 transit of Mercury made from two widely separated locations on Earth to determine the distance to the Sun in a way different from that suggested in 1715 by Halley. Using an internet link, teachers and students can make a similar derivation at the 2019 transit of Mercury also based on parallax and requiring only a set of measurements at one agreed-upon instant of time. They did not compare timing of the contacts (Halley's method), which groups did for the 2012 transit of Venus.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A