Star Party Embraces Transit of Mercury
Register early for the 2016 Michiana Star Party (MSP8) to save money and to pre-order an MSP8 t-shirt. The shirt design taps into the timely Transit of Mercury, which occurs the Monday immediately after the star party weekend. The original illustration Durchgang de Mercur by Wilhelm Nitschke, circa 1852, depicted several sailing vessels with a sun near the horizon and an oversized planet in silhouette.
Michiana Astronomical Society member Paul Surowiec replaced Nitschke's singular black circle with a string of dots that represent Mercury's path across the sun on May 9, 2016, as seen by a geocentric observer. The image below is a draft of the shirt design.
To sign up for the star party, go directly to the pre-registration form and mail in your completed form with payment. Because they are preprinted, T-shirts will likely not be available on the days of the star party, May 6-8, unless you have pre-ordered. Your pre-registration is much appreciated, as it enables the club to prepare the star party site better. Please act soon, and much thanks.
The path of Mercury as seen from a geocentric observer on May 9, 2016. Image courtesy of Fred Espenak.