BBC Stargazing Live 2014 spectacular events to take place

This series promises to be bolder and more ambitious than ever. We’ll be looking at everything from the Milky Way and other galaxies to space weather. Everyone can get involved and we hope the audience will join in to explore the wonders of space."Professor Brian Cox
Date: 04.12.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.09
As Stargazing Live returns to BBC Two in the New Year, BBC Learning and its partners are hosting a number of spectacular events designed to inspire everyone – from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur – to make the most of the night sky.

Hosted by comedian and science presenter Helen Arney, BBC Learning will be hosting events at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (Tuesday 7 January), The Forum in Norwich (Wednesday 8 January) and Royal Holloway, University of London in Egham (Thursday 9 January).

Visitors will get the chance to see amazing science demos and stunning images from the world’s best telescopes. People attending can take part in fun, space-themed activities including the DIY Solar System, *Mission X: Train Like An Astronaut, and Be An Interplanetary Weather Reporter. BBC presenters and professional and amateur astronomers will be on hand to guide people through what they can see in the night sky and give tips on how to get started.

The audience can also learn about how weather in space affects us on Earth, what is involved in space exploration and the wonders of the Milky Way and other Galaxies.

Entry to all the events is free but the events in the historic docklands of Portsmouth and Royal Holloway University, Egham are ticketed. Tickets are now available, initially until 10 December, via the BBC Shows and Tours website at bbc.co.uk/showsandtours. Tickets will be allocated by random draw. No tickets are required for the event at The Forum in Norwich.

As well as the BBC-led partner events, hundreds of other organisations are planning stargazing events and activities up and down the country, including astronomical societies, science centres and schools. To find an event near you visit the BBC’s Things To Do website at bbc.co.uk/thingstodo


Thousands of people took part in Stargazing Live events around the UK last year. Executive Producer for BBC Learning, Karen Gregory, says: “We want as many people as possible to get involved with stargazing and we’re delighted that at each event there will be experts on hand to make astronomy accessible to everyone.”

The TV series, which returns to BBC Two in the New Year, is hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain. The series will include three days of live stargazing, featuring jaw-dropping images, surprising science and unique demonstrations while also including the latest weather reports, pictures from probes around the solar system and an attempt to film the Aurora Borealis live from an aeroplane!

Professor Cox says: “This series promises to be bolder and more ambitious than ever. We’ll be looking at everything from the Milky Way and other galaxies to space weather. Everyone can get involved and we hope the audience will join in to explore the wonders of space.”

There will be additional Stargazing content on other channels across the BBC. In CBeebies Stargazing, pre-schoolers can find out more about the wonders of the universe and explore the amazing spectacle of the night sky. Presented by Chris Jarvis and with expert knowledge, courtesy of Space Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a group of young Stargazers visit 'Stargazing Park' to learn more about stargazing!

Also on CBeebies, Professor Brian Cox will read a Bedtime Story, The Way Back Home, by Oliver Jeffers.

CBeebies Radio will be running space/star themed content throughout Stargazing week. Shows include a special episode of Nina & The Neurons about rockets; star poems; bedtime stories; and two beautiful classical music star- and space-themed shows. All the shows are available to listen online (bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/radio).

And BBC Local Radio stations and Regional News TV programmes in England will tell the local stargazing story with features on astronomy and space science. Plus on Wednesday 8 January, the Mark Forrest Show** will come live from the Stargazing event at The Forum in Norwich from 7pm to 10pm. Mark will also be linking up with the main TV show at Jodrell Bank – as well as Star Parties all across the UK.

There will also be street stargazing pop-up events led by experts across the UK, designed to show people how accessible astronomy can be even in towns and cities. To accompany the events, BBC Learning is producing free resources, including a calendar with things to watch out for in the night sky throughout the year, as well as fantastic facts on space weather, exploration and the Milky Way and other galaxies. This will be available to download at bbc.co.uk/stargazing or to pick up at Stargazing events.

For further information about BBC Learning and the resources available please contact HH2/KW

For further information about the BBC Two Stargazing 2013 programme please contact FD

Note to Editors

BBC Learning plays a central part in meeting the BBC's purpose of promoting education and learning. Utilising the power of the BBC’s big brands and key talent, the department puts learning right at the heart of the BBC and provides a variety of resources and learning opportunities for children, teachers, parents and adult learners. Working with partners and in local communities, BBC Learning aims to stimulate interests and encourage engagement through a variety of campaigns across all BBC genres and platforms.

*Mission X is an international educational challenge supported by the UK Space Agency and sponsored by NASA's Human Research Program, focusing on fitness and nutrition and science teaching.

**The Mark Forrest Show is broadcast on all 39 BBC Local Radio stations across England and the Channel Islands each weekday evening at 7pm.