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Spot stars with our guide to astronomy

The One Show Team | 14:41 UK time, Friday, 31 July 2009

Astronomer Mark Thompson has been stargazing in Norfolk with One Show viewers. Watch the film below:

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In the film, Mark pointed out The Plough, the Summer Triangle and the North Star (also known as the Pole Star or Polaris). Click the links below to find out more about the stars in the night sky.

DOWNLOAD STAR MAP: Identify the stars and constellations.

MORE INFO: The Summer Triangle.

MORE INFO: The North Star - Wikipedia.

And Mark recommends...


ASTRONOMY CLUBS: Federation of Astronomical Societies.

Find out more about Mark Thompson here (BBC Norfolk).


  • 1. At 7:17pm on 31 Jul 2009, brilliantsusanna wrote:

    In Bath the Herschel Museum of Astronomy is celebrating The International Year of Astronomy with a special exhibition on the history of women in astronomy- and yes there were many inspiring women from ancient Babylonian priestesses to Greek enchantresses! ALSO the Wiltshire Astronomical Society are organising FREE stargazing events. Come and look through a telescope with us on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August just outside Number 1 Royal Crescent from 9pm.

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  • 2. At 7:23pm on 31 Jul 2009, viquee wrote:

    Missed what they justsaid about the meteor shower, when's best to see it? (or has anyone seen a link on here?)

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  • 3. At 7:23pm on 31 Jul 2009, zedfox wrote:

    There's an amazing Planetarium at Explore-At-Bristol where you can learn all that was on the show tonight, plus lots, lots more! Entry is included in the ticket price to Explore and there are several shows throughout the day - this is the chance to learn about the stars with no clouds or rain, a bonus with the weather we've got at the moment!

    Explore have also been running events throughout the year to celebrate the Year of Astronomy so check out the website to find out more info: www.at-bristol.org.uk

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  • 4. At 8:32pm on 31 Jul 2009, andrewallum wrote:

    Viquee, the best time to see the Perseid meteor shower is on the 12-13th August between 6.30pm and 11.00pm for the maximum. At most about 80-100 meteors/hour. I watched them a few years ago and they were superb. Look in a north eastern direction between the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia which is a W shape. The Perseids are the left over remnants of the comet Swift-Tuttle entering the Earth's atmosphere.

    Thanks Andy.

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  • 5. At 8:36pm on 31 Jul 2009, andrewallum wrote:

    Here is the link for meteor showers.



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  • 6. At 11:38pm on 31 Jul 2009, CaptainConcerned42 wrote:

    There is a really great, amazing, virtual real time star chart which runs on XP & Vista called Stellarium available free to download at www.stellarium.org/ - I cannot stress too much how good this is - it re-kindled my enthusiasm for star gazing - no more hassle trying to mess around with paper or cardboard cut-outs of the night sky..it's all there in "real-time". Try it..you will not look back. Your own Planetarium..!!

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  • 7. At 11:42pm on 31 Jul 2009, CaptainConcerned42 wrote:

    Forgot to add - can anybody advise where that observatory is in Norwich - I live nearby and would like to visit/see it.?

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  • 8. At 07:51am on 01 Aug 2009, Astrobloke wrote:

    I think it was the Seething Observatory, home of the Norwich Astronomical Society.
    Their website is www.Norwich.astronomicalsociety.org. Been there a few times, really friendly bunch.
    Think they are organising an astronomy conference in September this year..


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  • 9. At 11:23am on 01 Aug 2009, CaptainConcerned42 wrote:

    To: Astrobloke - thanks for your response - I'll have a look at that.

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  • 10. At 1:43pm on 01 Aug 2009, Donna Africa wrote:

    RE: Mark Thompson's Star Gazing Episode in Norfok aired last night on "The One Show"

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mark Thompson, Luke and Dave for filming this fascinating and illuminating film about the night sky. I had the pleasure and the honour to be a part of this Star Gazing filming event right here in Norfolk and I would just like to say a BIG Thank you to the guys and crew for creating, filming and sharing this enlightening experience with me. Mark taught me a lot about the stars and reawakened a renewed interest in Astrology and now I am hungry to learn more. I was the Star Gazer who said "I realised the universe was infinite!" - Pearls of wisdom! LOL! I had loads of fun being a part of this show and would love to do more. With Luv, Light and Liberty Donna Thompson aka Donna Africa www.donnaafrica.co.uk

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  • 11. At 2:03pm on 01 Aug 2009, CaptainConcerned42 wrote:

    To Donna Africa - I'm glad you liked the show - so did I, BUT I misleadingly thought that the contributors were actual members of the public, not "paid" actors (or aspiring ones according to your web page - nice photos by the way.!). Are you really an Astronomer or Astrologer - there is a big difference - I thought this programme was about ASTRONOMY..!! If you have come to Norfolk then your good looks and positive attitude should go a long way - I will keep an eye out for you..be nice to see you "in the flesh".!

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  • 12. At 3:41pm on 01 Aug 2009, Donna Africa wrote:

    To CaptainConcerned42 - By the by I was there as a participator and was not paid!!I volunteered to be a part of this fascinating subject and to learn about the sky at night! Plus the astrologer Mark did not even know I was a model or actress and I live in Norwich. I hope that clears that up!!

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  • 13. At 3:46pm on 01 Aug 2009, andrewallum wrote:

    DonnaAfrica, you keep saying Astrology and not Astronomy. Can you clear this up? I think you mean Astronomy.

    Thanks Andy.

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  • 14. At 5:15pm on 01 Aug 2009, CaptainConcerned42 wrote:

    Donna, Nice to hear your response - I'm only kidding.! Couldn't get concerned with such a nice girl as you. Anyway enough of that, back to star gazing upwards.!

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  • 15. At 2:22pm on 02 Aug 2009, AstronomerGuy wrote:

    It was great to see the enthusiasm of the stargazers in Norwich. For anybody who wants to know more about the wonders of the night skies, I'd suggest joining a body such as the Society for Popular Astronomy. This is a national society which has, for over 50 years, been bringing the excitement of the universe to everyone, whether young or old, a beginner or experienced skywatcher. Members get regular publications, can use advisory services, an active web forum, and much much more - all for a very reasonable annual subscription, with special rates for young members. See www.popastro.com

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  • 16. At 10:54am on 05 Aug 2009, newswallah wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 00:41am on 07 Aug 2009, steven_garside wrote:

    Celestia is another excellent piece of software for those interested in astronomy. It is an interactive 3D “space simulation” that lets you explore much of the known universe.

    It is available for free and can be downloaded from http://www.shatters.net/celestia/ - for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

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  • 18. At 5:26pm on 10 Aug 2009, brilliantsusanna wrote:

    For amatuer astronomers in the West the Wiltshire Astronomical Society are organising another free Star party 'Catch a falling Star' on Thursday 13th August at the Cumberwell Park Golf Club Bradford on Avon from 9pm. Astronomers and telescopes will be on the driving range - parking and bar available. Suitable weather is necessary- for those who turned up for the excellent Star Parties in Bath last weekend, we hope you enjoyed. More coming up in October and November. Dont forget the exhibition at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy on Women Astronomers.

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  • 19. At 3:31pm on 30 Aug 2009, TheMooncrow wrote:

    I missed the meteor showers completely due to the cloud cover, (BooHoo).

    Can anyone tell me, in simple terms, about 'Right ascension', 'Declination' etc.

    When someone tells me to look using RA of 15 Degrees, is that 15 Degrees above the horizon?.

    How do you calculate, (With Ease), the degrees above the horizon from the RA?.

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  • 20. At 8:10pm on 16 Sep 2009, angoraki wrote:

    Re the stargazing item - there is free software availaible - open souce - check out http://www.stellarium.org/
    There is another very good program called Starry Night - was available free, but could not find a free version

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  • 21. At 6:36pm on 17 Sep 2009, luckymog wrote:

    HI there to all, I'am new to all this, & I want to find out about the astronomy items that were shown for sale for my son-in-law, so how do I go about this.

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