Access Venus Transit 2012 via app for Android & iOS

There’s a lot of buzz at the moment about the Transit of Venus 2012, which took place over June 5 and June 6 so today we thought we’d bring you some news of an iOS and also an Android app for the Venus Transit 2012. This saw the planet Venus moving across the face of the sun as a small dark disk, a rare phenomenon as it only happens as a pair separated by 8 years, with over a century between the occurrence of each pair.

As there will not be another Transit of Venus until December 2117, if you missed this one it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see one again unless you live an extremely long life. The Venus Transit apps were a great way of following this unusual event and will serve as a kind of time capsule as people could submit data of the experience in a worldwide experiment.

The VenusTransit 2012 app for iOS can be found at iTunes here and is a free app compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad running iOS 4.2 or later. Before the transit users could discover what would be visible from their location and start and end times of the transit. During the transit users were able to measure the contact times and submit them as part of the global experiment for the transit. The contact times were measured as the point where the limbs of Venus and the Sun looked as though they touched.

This helped to recreate an experiment that occurred in both the 18th and 19th century Transits of Venus and this time using modern tools the times submitted from across the world were to be combined to calculate the distance to the Sun. The app used GPS to give users’ exact time and location at the time of internal contact when the user simply had to touch the screen. This information was then gathered to a global database for the Transit of Venus Project.

The app is also useful after the Transit as users can now access the data on a website map and also upload descriptions, images and more, thereby forming an interactive depository. This means that for finding out more about what happened a wealth of personal stories and pictures will be available. It will also give dates for future Venus Transits.

If you want the Android version of the VenusTransit app then head to Google Play here. Again it’s a free app and this time compatibility varies by device. Apart from the fact this is for Android the app does exactly the same as the iOS app detailed above. We’d like to hear if you followed the Transit of Venus 2012? Did you use either of the apps available and if so did it enhance your experience?

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