Stargazing LIVE returns to BBC on 8th January

January 7, 2013

by yaska77

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!

Last year viewers of Stargazing Live! helped identify a new planet - Credit: BBC

Professor Brian Cox and comedian Dara O Briain return for series 3 of Stargazing LIVE on Tuesday 8th January at 20:00 UTC – Credit: BBC

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

Have fun! 🙂



  1. Great first show. Looking forward to tomorrow’s gems and after-show banter

    • Yeah it was a very good return to TV (after the initial fail with Brian’s tablet :P), though I think I actually prefer the Back to Earth after show for the intelligent chat and banter. Roll on tomorrow evening (and hopefully some clear skies here!)

  2. Reblogged this on Camille Delcour.

  3. Very disappointed with last night’s programme. I appreciate the first hour had to be targeted at a general audience in order to encourage interest and raise enthusiasm but I was looking forward to a little intelligent discussion afterwards about one of the most fundamental questions for humanity….the origins of the universe. What we got however was a competition between two comedians for laughs, an introduction to an obscure beer that most of us will never buy anyway and a satellite conversation with another comedian about a song… which was particularly embarrassing because for all the scientific ‘expertise’ available….nobody appreciated the inevitable time delay obvious in any transatlantic conversation of this ilk.

    Popularising science I back to the hilt. Relegating it to somewhere behind silliness is really not on!

    • Thanks for your comment!

      I too prefer the Back to Earth after show as I like hearing people from different (albeit similar) fields discussing their understanding/views in relation to the others. Like you, I tend to keep up to date with what’s happening at NASA and other astro developments so a lot of the first hour is too general to really keep me fully interested, but agree it is a good way to get new people into astronomy.

      However, last night’s Back to Earth was quite annoying at times especially when they first spoke to Eric Idle as knowing there would be a delay they wasted minutes making a joke about how they were talking over each other. At least on the first show David Baddiel asked some sensible questions that a layman might ask.

      According to the TV listings Ben Miller was supposed to be on last night and he studied quantum physics before becoming a comedian, and I believe that would have been a far more engaging discussion!

      Hopefully tonight they’ll stop the one-upmanship and finish the series with a good intelligent chat with a bit of banter thrown in to garnish it, not smother it!

  4. Reblogged this on khaleeq78.

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