Stargazing LIVE: More secrets to be uncovered

Monday 16 January 2012, 14:48

Mark Thompson Mark Thompson Astronomer

Tagged with:

I have been fascinated by the night sky ever since I was a child.

I remember seeing Saturn through a telescope for the first time when I was about 10 years old, and the sight was nothing short of magical.

Seeing Saturn, rings and all, hovering against the velvet black sky ignited a fire in me that has been raging ever since.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

Stargazing series one: Jonathan meets Jupiter

There are loads of other great things coming up in the new series too and we want you to get involved.

You can send in your pictures and questions to the team and we will try to answer as many as possible in the follow-on show Stargazing LIVE: Back To Earth which happens straight after Stargazing LIVE.

There are also hundreds of events up and down the country for you to go along to.

We've also got some great new graphics plus an updated star and moon guide and loads of other resources downloadable from the website to show you what you can look for in the skies over the UK during January so you can get out and stargaze for yourselves.

Last year's show was great, even my 'missed meteor moment' was hilarious but we have loads of bigger and better things planned for this year and frankly, I can't wait for the first show.

Mark Thompson is the astronomer on Stargazing LIVE.

Series two of Stargazing LIVE begins on Monday, 16 January at 8.30pm on BBC Two and BBC HD. For further programme times, please see the upcoming epsiodes page.

On Thursday, 19 January at 2pm, Professor Brian Cox will present a live, interactive lesson from Jodrell Bank in collaboration with The Big Bang Fair. All UK schools can join in on the BBC red button.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

Tagged with:

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 21.

    Is Dara O'Briain paid by words per minute? It was hard enough trying to follow the concepts of Dark Matter and Black Holes, without having to try to understand what he was saying. I agree with all the previous comments that suggested he shouldn't be on that show. Brian Cox has presented other programmes on his own before and did a great job.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 22.

    I watched a bit but was quite shocked by Cox's arrogant dismissal of "ITV viewers" with the implication they were stupid conspiracy theorists. This was just after he gave a completely incorrect answer to the question of why the US flag was fluttering on the moon!

    (Yes we could all see there was a wire in it but that was not the question and does not explain the fluttering motion. Surely the real answer has to do with a very slow rate of energy dissipation due to the lack of air friction?)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 23.

    I was interested to watch Stargazing Live and I like the fact that there is a studio 'discussion' element to the overall format. However, it did deflate my sense of anticipation that this section of the show seemed to take some obvious cues with reference to its format from other shows, particularly Top Gear. Specifically, I mean the way the audience is congregated, standing rather than sitting around the hosts and guests; the tendency to adopt an overtly convivial style of presentation and the use of a 'wall' onto which photos are stuck. Each episode has had a main subject i.e. The Moon and then Black Holes. However, the questioning during the discussion seems to have quite a random quality. I often found The Sky At Night, one of Stargazing's predecessors, on the other hand to be more informatively sustained and sustaining, with lines of enquiry and explanation more closely followed through and points of conclusion clearly made. In contrast, Stargazing Live is, in my opinion, sacrificing some of that substance in favour of 'coolness' and viewer friendliness. But, I guess this is 2012!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 24.

    Just wanted to add my support for those who find the BBC's belief, that we can only copy with serious science if it's mediated through a celeb or comic, really sad. I haven't watched Starwatch because I don't like Dara O'Briain, and that's being polite about it. I can't be the only one - and Brian Cox has built up such a devoted TV following that I really don't understand why he can't anchor the show on his own, or with other scientists - he can't be the only TV-friendly astronomer in the country! A real missed opportunity - I'd really have liked to watch this and learn something.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    It the universe is infinite or there is a quilted multiverse does that mean there is another me out there
    that has read and watched everything I have and is doing what I am doing right now ? If this is true and I write “HELLO” knowing the other me is reading this as he types this, have I just communicated to the other me in another universe...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 26.

    I like Dara O'Briain and Brian Cox so the programs good for me ...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 27.

    This show has the possibility of being absolutely fascinating if just left to the scientist Brian Cox. What is irritating is the underlying compettion between the two presenters - Dara and Brian - sometimes they manage to veil it and it works fine and others you can visibly see the competition. Why does it need Dara O'Briain at all. He is fine and very likeable - but not needed on this show please - leave Brian to it - he is an entertaining, enthusiastic and knowleagable presenter and quite capable of hosting this programme alone so that he is not constantly interrupted by Dara and sometimes taken off track.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 28.

    Do you find astronomical distances very depressing give that our current spacecraft are not much more than technically advanced fireworks.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 29.

    A great 3 nights of entertaining Stargazing! Don't listen to the purists who want to dull down the Wonders of the Universe by removing the fun and humor. Science and humor; its a winning learning combination like Brian and Dara! I like the idea Dara's made a God of someone working in IT. Funny to think if THAT was the selection process for our God: (Big booming voice: "Congratulations "Earth" from IT, you have found an (insert other world name here) type planet, you will be their God. And they will pray and war and create in your name". Our God, a deity from IT. Puts things in perspective doesn't it, which is what astronomy does so well.

    Great work all the team. You're making astronomy accessible to all, even if our cities aren't! (And I love the casual Back to Earth free for all discussion-who say's astronomy shouldn't be fun!) See you next year for more of the same!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    What an amazing show really put together well and I think Dara did a fantastic job as well as professor Brian of course. Obviously previous guys who have left comments know what real entertainment is!!! Big well done again can't wait for the next one

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 31.

    There are so few programes about astronomy on tv, so even though stargazing live is by no means perfect, it is still informative and entertaining

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 32.

    Might be a dumb q, but... I'm aware they said a few years ago they said that the expansion rate of the universe is increasing-which is where the whole dark matter thing came in, now i've just read on todays bbc science and nature page that 'At the greatest distances, the universe's expansion is accelerating', tell me they've allowed for the fact that information from the farthest away in the universe is the oldest, and you would expect the universe to have been expanding faster then....

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 33.

    Thanks for the excellent programmes. For those of you interested in the relative size of the solar system, there is an easy walk in St Luc, Valais, Switzerland where all the planets are set out as models with the correct dimensions and then spread over the mountainside at their relative distances. It takes 2 hours to complete the walk but as well as superb views there is lots of information about the planets.
    It is called the Walk of the planets and the webpage is [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 34.

    I agree with many of the comments about Dara being more of a hinderance than a help. Brian Cox is so good at explaining things it is a pity that he is interrupted so many times.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 35.

    We were watching as a family, so there was a good age spread, and we also have to agree with a number of comments already posted. Dara O'Briain comes across as someone who is interested in astronomy, knows quite a bit about it and he works well with Prof. Brian Cox. BUT we all had the same problem understanding what he was saying most of the time and when he kept speaking over Brian or any other guest...well.
    I have been lucky enough to have worked around the UK and NI, so have become 'used' to regional accents, but it was the slightly 'slurred' way in which
    Mr O'Briain spoke that made it at times very hard to understand what he was saying.
    We have now had Jonathan Ross and Dara O'Briain taking part in the wonderful 'Stargazing Live' shows, who will it be next year?
    Could I also suggest that there is a summer show as well. The skies may be lighter longer but there are still many things to see. How many people saw the magnificent display of Noctilucent clouds last year?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 36.

    This program is excellent. we need more of this kind of thing. it's such a shame its only once per year.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 37.

    Love the series and hope there are plans to make it a more regular thing.
    A few seem to be saying they don't like Dara on the programme and want you to get rid of him. Please don't listen to them, he's great on the show and is doing a great job presenting. Brian would struggle on his own if you got rid of Dara and the show would suffer as a result.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 38.

    I love this show and have little sympathy for the serious astronomers who knock it. Seems to me that they don't want their beloved subject to be opened up to the curious but less-informed. Encourage your new generation of geeks, you were ignorant once :)

    My suggestions for next year - more skies and less studio, keep Dara O'Briain and if you get a chance to interview a true legend PLEASE tape it in advance and show a full filmed interview. See you all next year, unless Brian Cox is fighting extradition charges for phone-stalking Captain Cernan... :)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 39.

    Does the moon really rotate about "its axis" in order to show the same face to the Earth? (Mondays Stargazing Live)
    Think of a fairground roundabout with a centre (the Earth) about which rotates a platform around the edge of which are non rotatable poles supporting the roof. If one of these poles was decorated with a model of the moon with the pole forming its axis this would always present the same face to the centre but could not rotate about that axis. Though it does rotate about the centre's axis. Help please?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 40.

    To thomasbaker. I think that if you use your roundabout model, but look down on it from say, a balcony, then as it rotates, all the poles indeed with go round with the main structure. As they are part of this structure and connected to it then yes the same 'face' of the pole will face towards the middle. But the Moon is not connected to the Earth and if the Moon did not rotate as it does, then we would see a slightly different face of the Moon each night.

    Try this example to see how it works.

    Take a small bite out of an apple (this will be a point of reference) and hold this apple from below at arms length. Now slowly rotate yourself and watch the apple, the same face of the apple point to you. But you are connected.

    Now get someone to hold the same apple by the stalk and ask them to move it around you. You will see the whole surface of the apple on each rotation. But if they twist the apple stalk by one rotation whilst they move it around you, the bite mark will remain in the same location.

    Hope that helps and I hope I got it right.

 

Page 2 of 3

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Previous
The Mystery Of Edwin Drood: I'm the director

Monday 9 January 2012, 10:29

Next
The Crusades: the thrill of a priceless manuscript

Tuesday 24 January 2012, 10:35

About this Blog

Get the views of cast, presenters, scriptwriters and crew from inside the shows. Read reviews and opinions and share yours on all things TV - your favourite episodes, live programmes, the schedule and everything else.

We ask that comments on the blog fall within the house rules.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?