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Astronomers Without Borders: Phone & Online Technology Brought to Transit of Venus

Press Release From: Astronomers Without Borders
Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012

image Astronomers Without Borders has partnered with the Venus Transit Project and Esri, a leading geographic information systems company, to create unique smartphone and web apps for the transit of Venus.

Owners of mobile devices using the Apple and Android operating systems can now take part in the largest such effort ever thanks to a new free app developed by Steven van Roode of the Transit of Venus Project. Anyone can emulate the expeditions of old without leaving home or making lengthy measurements of their location or local time.

Just a few clicks on a smartphone is enough, and many thousands are expected to join in. The technology used was not available even for the Venus transit in 2004 -- the only other transit to occur since the 19th century -- ensuring that this project will see unprecedented participation.

The web app can be accessed from any web browser, and adjusts for mobile as well as desktop platforms. The dynamic app provides several ways for users to learn about the transit and interact with others watching it around the world. Users can:



* Find where and when the transit occurs around the world.

* See contact timing observations from the VenusTransit smartphone app in near real-time on transit day, and see how they compare to the predicted times (most of the timing differences can be attributed to the black drop effect).

* See tweets, photos, and videos of transit of Venus activities on a world map, and share yours through hashtags and key phrases: #tov2012, #venustransit, 'Transit of Venus', and 'Venus Transit'.

* Watch a video explaining the transit, including an animation that shows the whole 6 hour, 40 minute event in one minute.

The web app is available at http://tov2012.esri.com/, and will be embedded on several websites soon, including Astronomers Without Borders, Transit of Venus (http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/), and http://www.eclipse-maps.com.

Contact:

Mike Simmons
President, Astronomers Without Borders
mikes@astronomerswithoutborders.org
+1 818 597 0223

More information and downloads: http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php/projects/transit-of-venus.html

The transit of Venus web app was developed jointly by the prototype software laboratory at Esri (a GIS software company; http://www.esri.com), Astronomers Without Borders (http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org), and the team behind the VenusTransit smartphone app (http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/getting-involved/phone-app/).

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