Event Report: BBC Stargazing Live 2012

Court Hey Park

The Liverpool Astronomical Society hosted two events this year and helped with another, the first was at Court Hey Park (National Wildflower Centre) in partnership with the Knowsley Rangers, this event was on Monday 16th January 2012 and started at 7pm and it very quickly became clear it was going to be well attended.

We had plenty of telescopes set up and the cafe was to host the talks, within a short while the room was packed and we had to close the door, everyone was given the free gifts the BBC had forwarded to us and I gave the first talk “A STAR’S LIFE” whilst outside it was nice and clear for those who could not get into the talk, our members outside were kept very busy.

After my talk (about 25 mins) we sent everyone outside to look through telescopes and those outside were invited in for a talk to be given by David Forshaw titled “NOW & THEN”, after David’s talk, once again we asked people to swap for a third talk given by myself, we estimated the attendance to be around three hundred members of the public and approx 20 members of the society.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Karen Brady (Knowsley Ranger) and all the staff in the cafe for letting us host the event there.

Port Sunlight

The next evening whilst some of our members were becoming TV celebrities myself Gerard Gilligan, Dave Owen and Geoff Regan helped the Dark Sky Discovery Project at an event in Port Sunlight, this event was also well attended with about one hundred people turning up, we only provided telescopes for this event.

Ainsdale Discovery Centre

The following week on Friday 27th January we held our final event for “Stargazing Live” at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, this had the added bonus of a film crew from the Sky at Night with Pete Lawrence covering the event for a forthcoming edition of the Sky at Night

My day started early as the Sky at Night were also featuring our supernova searches at Dave Thomson’s house, we will keep everyone posted when the show is to be broadcast (we believe the March edition). After we finished filming we had a short break before we had to leave for Ainsdale, on the journey the weather turned atrocious, hail, rain and wind, things looked bleak for the evening but as we arrived at about 6.30pm the wind dropped, the rain stopped and the clouds parted and for the rest of the evening it was nice and clear, I gave three talks (in the warm) whilst all the members out in the cold were kept very busy, Dave Galvin had brought along the societies new WATEC video camera and hooked it up to Chris Banks’s telescope, this meant people could gather around the monitor and watch as stunning views of M31 and M42 came in, we estimated about two hundred people came along and about 20 LAS members also.

Again many thanks to Rachel Northover and staff from Sefton Rangers.

Stargazing Live 2012Click the image above to see the photos, or click this link: http://lasimages.wikispaces.com/BBC+STARGAZING+2012