The transit of Venus is an exciting event for more than one reason. The rarity of the alignment of the Sun, Venus and Earth makes it a unique phenomenon that won’t be visible to humans again until 2117. But it also provides for an unparalleled opportunity to repeat a historical measurement that appeals to one’s imagination: the determination of the sun’s distance. Our Measure the Sun’s Distance project allows you to get actively involved in doing just that: go out and measure the size of the Universe.
To join the project, it is sufficient to submit your own observations of the transit of Venus using the free phone app. But it may also be interesting to have an actual partner to collaborate with. You can then gear your observing techniques to each other, exchange your data and work out the results together. Especially for schools this is a way to get students actively engaged in an exchange project: they can team up in small observing groups and enter a competition in finding the most accurate solar distance, or they can join the Astronomers Without Borders programme with lots of preparatory activities – if one thinks about it, a collaboration of this kind has endless possibilities, even for individuals.
But how do you find a partner to team up with? We are developing a tool that will help you find a suitable partner and get in touch. To populate the tool, we need you to register first as an observer. If you already made up your mind about your observing location, you can submit your details by filling out the registration form below. The full search tool will be available soon.