Capture the Venus Transit Using Your iPhone: A Guide

On an upcoming Tuesday, the celestial event of Venus crossing the sun’s path will occur, a phenomenon not to be seen again until 2117. Southern Stars Group, LLC, the developers behind the SkySafari app, are encouraging users to document this rare transit using their iPhone or iPad cameras. Participants in their contest could win prizes including an iPad, iPod touch, or a Samsung Galaxy tablet, though the latter might not be as appealing to our audience.

For those interested in entering the contest, you must have purchased SkySafari, currently discounted to US $0.99 in light of the event.

Detailed contest rules are available on the Southern Stars website.

Even if you’re not entering the contest, downloading SkySafari is a great excuse to explore the summer night skies. Although the transit is a daytime event, the app provides a real-time simulation of the occurrence. It’s crucial to remember not to view the sun directly during the transit to avoid eye damage.

Instead, use a pinhole camera or solar viewing glasses, and ensure any telescopes or binoculars are equipped with appropriate solar filters.

For more details on the transit, check out this NASA information page. There are also general photography tips available, which are useful even if you’re using a smartphone camera. For additional insights, the Bad Astronomy blog offers a comprehensive guide.

If you’re in a location where the transit is visible, which includes about two-thirds of the globe, and the weather is clear, you’re in for a spectacular view.


Patricia is a well-respected author and tech enthusiast who has made significant contributions to the Apple community. Writing for TUAW, Patricia brings a wealth of knowledge about Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Her insightful articles and guides help readers navigate the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. With a knack for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand content, Patricia has become a trusted voice for Apple fans everywhere.