This rare astronomical event created a stir in Epping Forest five years ago this week.

Hundreds of people went out in clear weather to see Mercury dwarfed by the immense size of the Sun, as the planet swung through on its orbit.

In Theydon Bois, the Loughton Astronomical Society set up telescopes and cameras with special filters to capture the cosmic event, which started after midday and lasted until just before 8pm.

With sunny weather lasting until around 4.30pm, about 200 people visited to watch Mercury’s transit.

It was the last time the event will be visible in Britain until 2049.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Astronomers in Theydon Bois watch Mercury transit the Sun

“It is a special event,” said society secretary Brian Morton, 63, of Theydon Park Road.

“We found that people were genuinely interested in it.

“People did get quite amazed by the fact that Mercury was so small against the diameter of the Sun.”