Budding amateur astronomers from Liverpool got the chance to be involved in a nationwide Stargazing event this week.


‘Stargazing Live’, which is produced by the BBC and the Open University, has returned to BBC Two for its second series after the huge success of last year’s shows and events.


In 2011, the three-night live broadcast attracted four million viewers, making it one of the most popular BBC Two factual series of the year.


The aim of the series is for people to make the most of the night sky. Hundreds of free events were held up and down the country to encourage people interested in astronomy to go along and learn about the solar system.


The Liverpool Astronomical Society held their event at Court Hey Park in Knowsley. The organisers’ enthusiastic approach to viewing the clear skies ensured fun was had by all.


Gerard Gilligan, the society’s Honorary Secretary, told JMU Journalism: “These events are part of over 1,000 from Scotland to the Isle of Wight, where we’re encouraging people to come out, dress warmly, look at the night sky and get involved in astronomy.”


Ideal weather conditions meant the stargazers were not disappointed and among the array of stars on show were Jupiter, which is the largest planet in the solar system, and the North Star, which is unique as it never moves position.


The LAS holds meetings every Wednesday, where anybody with a keen interest in the subject can go along and find out about upcoming events.


David Forshaw, former President of the society, said: “Usually at the observatory meetings about two hundred people turn up, but there’s at least that here so far tonight.”


Brendan Martin, Observatory Director, added: “I’m very happy with the turnout. We have over two hundred members and it will probably go up after the event tonight as it did last year.”

Astronomers gather for Stargazing Live

By Helen Healy

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More than 200 people were at Court Hey Park to look at the skies as part of the BBC's 'Stargazing Live'