Today on Far Future Horizons we present the second episode of the incredible three part BBC series hosted Stargazing Live by Brian Cox and Dara Ó Briain.
The aim of this series was to bring the Universe closer to our home.
In this episode, Liz shows us images of the sun, Brian explains how we know where every planet will be at a certain time, and Liz talks about blackouts from Coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We are also shown images of the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest neighbour.
Stargazing Live is a British live television program on astronomy that was first broadcast for three evenings on BBC Two between 3 and 5 January 2011, with a second series broadcast between 16 and 18 January 2012, a third series between 8 and 10 January 2013, a fourth series between 7 and 9 January 2014, a fifth series from March 18 and March 20, 2015, and now between January 12 and January 15, 2016. The series is primarily presented by scientist Brian Cox and comedian and amateur astronomer Dara Ó Briain with support from TV presenter and biochemist Liz Bonnin and astronomer Mark Thompson. It is broadcast from Jodrell Bank Observatory[ and has featured live links from scientific facilities in Hawaii, South Africa, Norway and NASA.
The first series was scheduled to coincide with the partial Solar eclipse of January 4, 2011, a conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, and the Quadrantid meteor shower. It also featured Jonathan Ross learning how to spot planets, and a discussion with the International Space Station.
Scientific advisors for the first series included Dan Hillier, manager of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, and visitor centre.
To coincide with both series of the show, hundreds of Stargazing Live events were run across the UK, including star parties and 'sidewalk astronomy' sessions. Many of these events were organised by local astronomy societies and universities.
The show returned for a second series on 16-18 January 2012. The first episode had a theme about the moon, including a live interview with 'the last man on the moon, Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan. The second episode had a focus on black holes, and the third on the possible existence of extra-terrestrial life. Each episode included different guests, such as impressionist and amateur astronomer, Jon Culshaw on the second night. The final episode also included a feature titled the "Great Big Dulverton Switch Off" where every light in the town of Dulverton, Somerset was switched off live on TV to highlight the issue of light pollution.
The second series was a co-production with the Open University, with OU science consultants Dr Andrew Norton, Dr Dave Rothery and Dr Stephen Serjeant.
The Daily Mail back in January reports that in the United Kingdom there was 500% increasein telescope sales a steep rise in the number of students taking A-Level maths, physics and chemistry.
Stargazing Live Episode 2
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