Science of the Mercury Transit: How Astronomers Will Study the Rare Celestial Event

Good report. I note this brief entry too on the 2016 Mercury transit. The 2016 Transit of Mercury and the Solar Parallax

The trigonometry is interesting. I use a quick method where the radius of the Earth is 6378.136 km. Using a solar parallax of 8.794" angular size, the distance is 1.496E+8 km for the astronomical unit or 1 AU. This is 23455.17 earth radii. Students who engage in this observation and measurement during the Mercury transit, I think will have much fun and enjoyment.
One more note here. This month, 4 Vesta asteroid is moving retrograde in Taurus, now in Cetus and reaches opposition on 12th November, apparent magnitude about 6.5 so binoculars are needed. Some folks (like me and others) using binoculars and telescopes, are tracking the asteroid across the sky and the position changes. The Moon is waxing gibbous and approaching Full Moon so very bright now. Viewing 4 Vesta asteroid, and now the Mercury transit on Monday - this is great time to be outside enjoying the views and celestial events.