BBC Stargazing LIVE 2013 event heads to Leicester for a special celebration of astronomy

Posted by pt91 at Nov 30, 2012 11:44 AM |
Apply for free BBC tickets and download Star Party packs

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 30 November 2012

BBC TWO’S hugely popular programme, Stargazing Live, is back in the New Year and to mark its return the East Midlands is hosting a stellar event designed to encourage everyone – from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur – to make the most of the night sky.

The East Midlands event will take place on Tuesday 8th January at the University of Leicester from 5.30pm to 9.00pm

Organised by BBC Learning and the University of Leicester the event is one of a number being held up and down the country bringing together astronomical societies, museums and discovery centres, country parks and local authorities. These exciting events include planetarium shows, rocket making, star parties and night time star cruises as well as topical talks and discussions contributing to a national stargazing celebration.

The event at the University of Leicester, which is at the forefront of space and astronomy research, will put on a number of spectacular free family activities. They include exploring the night sky through telescopes; making and launching a rocket; creating a comet and trying some meteorite ice-cream. There will be Planetarium shows and short talks by experts – including a Leicester Scientist who was part of the Curiosity Rover mission to Mars.

Entry is free but this is a ticketed event. Tickets will be available from Friday, November 30th at 6pm until midnight on Tuesday 11th 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 and Professor Mark Lester, Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, says: “We are incredibly excited to be working with BBC Learning to put on a fantastic event for all the family in celebration of Stargazing Live 2013”.

Tracey Dickens, who is co-ordinating this event on behalf of the University of Leicester, added: “We have an exciting and engaging programme of activities in place, available for people of all ages and we are very much looking forward to welcoming over 2500 people to our event in January”.

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.


The University of Leicester is a leading UK University committed to international excellence through the creation of world changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. Leicester is the most socially inclusive of Britain's top-20 leading universities. The University of Leicester was the THE University of the Year 2008-9 and is the only University to win six consecutive awards from the Times Higher. In awarding the title the judges cited Leicester’s ability to “evidence commitment to high quality, a belief in the synergy of teaching and research and a conviction that higher education is a power for good”. Leicester was, said the judges, "elite without being elitist".

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For further information about the Leicester event please contact:

The University of Leicester Press Office on 0116 252 2415 or e-mail

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

 Jo Clayton, Publicist BBC Learning on 07809 597 825 or  (Wed-Fri).

Karen Williams, Publicist BBC Learning on 0771 4957087 or (Mon-Wed).

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

Publicity Front Desk on 020 8576 9900 or

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