BBC Live Stargazing Astrocast

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Its been a while since I have posted here,  almost a year has passed since the closing ceremony of the International Year of Astronomy and as a legacy to IYA a number of initiatives have carried on carrying the torch of astronomy/science communication. One of these initiatives is Global Astronomy Month, which says what it does on the tin – a whole month of celebratory global activities from starparties to astropoetry, and everything in-between taking place throughout the month of April.

A few months back the BBC started approached astronomers both in the UK and internationally to begin organising what may become a TV first – a 3 day marathon of live stargazing events happening simultaneously across the UK. There are of course participants from other nations involved, especially a group of educators and astronomers using the Faulkes Telescope as part of the European/Global Hands on Universe Group.

The 3 day marathon kicks off on January 3rd with a live TV programme going out on BBC2. The programme goes out again live on 4th and 5th of January. Coinciding with the live broadcast are a number of astronomical events including a partial Solar Eclipse on the morning of January 4th. It also coincides with an annual science teachers conference which takes place in the UK every year. This year we will be at the University of Reading and to allow teachers to share in the magic of the live BBC broadcast a number of activities have been organised to be held at the Association for Science Education’s Annual Conference.

As part of the national events taking place up and down the UK, a twitter feed (@universequest), live blogging (here!) and live Web casts have been organised to take place from 5th to 7th Jan from the ASE conference. To coincide with the stargazing events there is also the launch of a new science film competition with the winners receiving the opportunity to have their films shown in science centres and planetaria across the globe:

Seems New Year will be a very busy period indeed! But no doubt a lot of fun!

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