Following the inspirational TV programmes featuring Professor Brian Cox, BBC Learning and the Institute of Physics have teamed up to host Stargazing LIVE events in four different areas of Wales simultaneously on 12 January 2011, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
The event presents an opportunity for total beginners, amateur astronomers and professional stargazers to explore the night sky together.
The simultaneous events will take place in the University of Glamorgan, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Christ College, Brecon and Glyndwr University, Wrexham.
In Christ College, Brecon there will be an opportunity to meet a real astronomer; in the University of Glamorgan, a chance to visit a digital planetarium and meet Prof Mike Edmunds and Dr Paul Roche; Glyndwr University will host the Starlab form Daresbury Laboratories; and, there will be an opportunity to use real telescopes at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
“We felt that this was a great opportunity to get children of all ages, from 5 to 95 to explore the night sky and to give them confidence to be able to do so at home in their back garden” – says Cerian Angharad (Institute of Physics Teacher Network Co-ordinator in South Wales)
Residents in the four areas will be sharing the experience with tens of thousands of fellow stargazers as part of the nationwide extravaganza that is tied into the new BBC Two show Stargazing LIVE.
Stargazing LIVE, which aired last week, saw Professor Brian Cox, joined by comedian Dara O’Briain and the One Show’s resident astronomer Mark Thompson, look to the skies to bring the wonders of the stars into the nation’s living rooms.
“The night sky is one of nature’s most incredible treasures so it’s fantastic that there are going to be Stargazing LIVE events up and down the country to give the public a chance to try their hand at stargazing,” says Mark Thompson, astronomer.
“And although a star filled sky can be daunting to many people taking their first steps around the sky, the Star Guide is an invaluable tool and will soon help newcomers to pick out some of the incredible sights of the Universe”
You can download a comprehensive starter guide to the night sky by visiting bbc.co.uk/stargazing