Viewers in the UK have a televisual astronomical treat coming up for three evenings this week as Stargazing LIVE returns to BBC 2 (and BBC HD) tomorrow evening.
Beginning at 8pm and broadcasting live from the famous Jodrell Bank Observatory, the show is aimed at encouraging everyone – whether complete beginner or enthusiastic amateur – to get out and enjoy the wonders of the night sky!
Joining hosts Professor Brian Cox and comedian Dara O Briain once again will be presenter Liz Bonnin (visiting NASA) and astronomer Mark Thompson who will give tips on how best to observe the night sky.
Last year’s show has been credited with boosting sales of telescopes by 500% and once again interaction with the audience will feature heavily, particularly during the half hour “after show” Back to Earth which features more discussion and viewers contributions, and follows on directly from the main show.
Tuesday 8th January – 20:00 UTC – BBC2 and HD
The series begins with the search for evidence of life on Mars and asks viewers for help to explore an uncharted area of the red planet’s surface. Liz Bonnin is at NASA mission control to find out the latest findings of the Curiosity Rover, whilst Mark Thompson shows you how best to observe the moons of Jupiter.
Wednesday 9th January – 20:00 UTC – BBC2 and HD
Our journey through the night sky continues with a look into the distant past, explaining how it is possible to chart the history of the universe by looking millions of light years out into the depths of space.
At NASA, Liz Bonnin meets the team behind the largest space telescope in the world, a device 100 times more powerful than Hubble.
Thursday 10th January – 20:00 UTC – BBC2 and HD
On the final night Brian and Dara discuss meteors, comets and asteroids and how they contributed to the origins of life on Earth.
And the results of the experiment carried out by Stargazing viewers which began during episode one (exploring an uncharted area on the surface of Mars) are also revealed.
We’re really looking forward to it! Last year we had our best night ever for astrophotography following Stargazing LIVE (have a look here at the images we captured!) and if the sky clears we’re aiming to get outside again for some new shots.
For more information on the show (and details on how to get involved) have a look at the Stargazing LIVE website, and if you’re on Twitter you can join in using hashtag #bbcstargazing