BBC Stargazing Live 2013 events to take place across the UK in celebration of astronomy

“During the last series amateur stargazers were hunting for planets and this year we will be hunting for asteroids and strange ‘spider’-like features on Mars. Everyone can get involved and you never know what we will find – there are so many possibilities out there. “
Professor Brian Cox
Date: 30.11.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.57
Category: Learning
BBC Two’s hugely popular programme Stargazing Live is back in the New Year and to mark its return the BBC and its partners are hosting a number of stellar events designed to encourage everyone – from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur – to make the most of the night sky.

The events*, which will take place from Tuesday, 8 January, will bring together astronomical societies, museums and discovery centres, country parks and local authorities. These exciting events include planetarium shows, rocket making, astrophotography, recreating constellations, analysing meteorites, the chance to view the stars via telescopes, as well as topical talks and discussions contributing to a national stargazing celebration.

Entry to all the events is free but many are ticketed. Tickets will be available from today, Friday 30 November, at 6pm until 11.55pm on Tuesday 11 December, from the BBC Shows and Tours website at Tickets will be allocated by random draw.

Around 113,000 people took part in Stargazing Live events around the UK last year. Executive producer for BBC Learning, Karen Gregory, says: “We are incredibly excited to be working so many different organisations to put on fantastic events for all the family in celebration of Stargazing Live 2013.”

The TV series, which returns to BBC Two on January 8th, 9th and 10th 2013, is hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain, with over three days of live stargazing featuring epic images from observatories around the globe.

Professor Cox says: “During the last series amateur stargazers were hunting for planets, and this year we will be hunting for asteroids and strange ‘spider’-like features on Mars. Everyone can get involved and you never know what we will find – there are so many possibilities out there.“

To accompany the TV series and the events, BBC Learning is producing a number of free resources including a Star Guide and a special Star Party pack so that people can get involved by planning their own star party at home. They will be available to download at from early December. 

The Star Party pack has ideas for great activities to get your party going. It offers a variety of top tips that can be customised to suit any age range. Share in the fun of cooking up a Stargazing menu and create cool decorations to give the party that intergalactic feel. The pack provides inspiration to provide interactive activities that everyone can enjoy. There’s even a list of space-themed songs to launch your party into the stratosphere. The Star Guide is a comprehensive handbook to what can be seen in the night sky.

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

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.

*BBC Stargazing Event locations listings up to date at time of going to press (please check The Things To do Website from mid-December for full updated listings of events across the UK).

January 8th

University of Leicester 5.30pm-9pm

Langton Star Centre, Canterbury 5.30pm-7pm & 7.30pm-9pm

Eden Project, Cornwall 6.30pm-9.30pm

January 9th

Gibside (Rowlands Gill), Tyne and Wear 5pm-9pm

University of Birmingham 5pm-10pm

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge 6pm-7.30pm & 8-9.30pm

Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire 5pm-9pm

Greenwich Maritime Museum, London 6-9.30pm

Newport Riverfront Theatre, Wales 4.30pm-7pm & 7.30pm-10pm

January 10th

Amex Stadium, Brighton 4.30pm-8pm

Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, 6-10pm

January 12th

University of Birmingham 11am-5pm

For further information about BBC Learning and the resources available please contact: JC4/KW

For further information about the BBC TWO Stargazing 2013 programme please contact: Front Desk Publicity