Fig. 5.


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Transits across the solar disk for each of the inner planets, as measured in TSI by the Earth-orbiting SORCE/TIM and TCTE/TIM instruments, should have decreases of ~0.1% for Venus (upper plot) and 0.005% for Mercury (lower plot). The calculated TSI signal during each transit (gray) includes the effects of solar limb-darkening and the spacecrafts’ orbital positions. The actual TSI measurements (red dots) include high-frequency variations due to solar convection and oscillations. While the 2012 Venus transit is readily apparent in TSI, this high-frequency background solar variability is comparable to the Mercury-transit signal. Averages of the TSI values from equal-duration times before, during, and after the 2016 Mercury transit (blue squares) indicate a measured decrease of 0.004%. While this transit is suggestively discernable in the red TSI data despite the underlying continual solar variations, the uncertainties on this decrease are comparable to the value itself.

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