Image taken through a hydrogen-alpha solar telescope showing the Sun's layer called the chromosphere. The flare is the white ribbon coursing through the sunspot group below and right of center.
When Mercury and Venus pass directly between the Sun and the Earth as they move in their orbits, we see them as black dots on the face of the Sun; Mercury very small and Venus much larger. These are called transits. These images were taken through telescopes fitted with white light (visible spectrum) solar filters, which show the layer of the Sun called the photosphere. The black dots other than the planets are sunspots. A Mercury transit occurs about every 7 years. Venus transits occur 4 times in 234 years in an asymmetric pattern.
The planet Jupiter is the bright "star" near the lower right end of the Milky Way.
All photos copyright Fred V Schneider