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Stargazing live


inksmithy
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My vote for Prof. Marcus du Sautoy or Prof. Jim Al-Khalili.

;)

That must be his Top Gear persona to fit in with the others. Wouldn't be cool on a lads programme to show an interest i suppose. I've seen him on other things, including a couple of his own space travel related programs and he shows a genuine interest.
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Mark here aka @peoplesastro. Very happy to hear your suggestions for next Strgazing LIVE. We start planning next month so anything considered.
A definite improvement on randomly shouting "nobber" at casual contributors. <hint> LOL. Maybe I'll have another go at (astro) Twittering? More power to yous, anyway... ;) Edited by Macavity
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Hey all..

Mark here aka @peoplesastro. Very happy to hear your suggestions for next Strgazing LIVE. We start planning next month so anything considered.

Cheers

Mark

You could do a lot worse than an outside broadcast from the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth, Devon.

Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Welcome to the Norman Lockyer Observatory

This observatory houses some of the nations most historic telescopes and holds regular meetings, open nights and the South West Astronomy Fair. It has excellent facilities and is situated in a fairly dark-sky location.

I've visited a few times recently and have come to realise that public funding for places like this is almost non-existent. The NLO is a registered charity and run by volunteers and enthusiasts.

Anything you can do on your program to help support facilities like this I'm sure would be very welcome as the upkeep and maintenance of our astronomical heritage can be quite costly. It's certainly something that should not be overlooked.

It would also be a more preferable location for a broadcast than the back garden of a random celebrity who appeared to have no real interest in astronomy. ;)

Alan.

Edited by blackparticle
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Hi Mark, Maybe less tweets about the currys you are making/eating - other than that anyone other than Jonathan Ross as a guest. With Autumn approaching it might be worth getting along to some star parties. Brian May seems a really good suggestion - James May as well - try to avoid celebrities for celebrities sake. Lets keep fingers crossed for better weather this time around!

Saying that, I have always had a solid interest in Astronomy but the last series of SGLive really pushed me into it and I`m having a blast. Good luck.

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Hey all..

Mark here aka @peoplesastro. Very happy to hear your suggestions for next Strgazing LIVE. We start planning next month so anything considered.

Cheers

Mark

I think Stephen Fry/James May should be on it to be honest. If you're going to pick a celebrity, at least choose an intelligent one.

Also, I know it's hard, but try to go somewhere less cloudy this time :rolleyes:

Looking forward to it ;)

Clear Skies

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Hiya Mark - I don't have any special demands, more suggestions really.

At the last stargazing live, there was - as FLO will tell you, a big spike in the numbers of people buying telescopes and I suspect rather a lot of people have been left staring nervously at this equipment they have obtained but have no real idea how to take their prospective hobby further.

I know there are probably plans to talk to various astro clubs and so on, which is great, but to a lot of people, astro clubs can seem like quite formal affairs.

Personally, I was very unsure what to expect at my first star party - if you look at the thread in the star parties section, you will see how that went. Not many stars, sadly, but laughter, fun and great conversation ruled.

How about some pre-recorded parts of the show which show that star parties aren't necessarily just for formal, scientific beardy types, but people from all walks of life who enjoy the beauty and wonderment not just from seeing, but talking, laughing and learning about the cosmos.

We also tend not to be allergic to a drink, strangely.

Alan

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After being mostly clouded out last time, I think it would be good to have a back up plan such as some pre-recorded footage, to give a good idea of what to expect from a telescope.

Also, I tend to agree with most of the above comments, especially regarding celebrities.

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Yes please no Wossy again. Stephen fry sounds like a very good idea though.

I also agree about the previous back up plan of pre-recorded footage though, just in case they get unlucky again.

Also a bit more of an insight into scopes and how to use them for people thinking about taking up astronomy, instead of the farse with J.R before.

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Watching a couple of guys standing out in a field under light-polluted skies without any way of seeing what they were seeing didn't make for great TV either.

So how about some "live-view" scopes set up around the country (or globe even) just in case it is cloudy at the broadcast location? These could be linked up via the net and the images (or video depending on what type of camera is used) available to be cut into the broadcast as required and also viewable on the Stargazing Live website.

There are also software applications that will stack images on the fly so if you're viewing distant galaxies and nebulas you could keep coming back to them to see the progression as the night(s) go on.

As a lot of deep-sky objects are so faint through a telescope, I think this would be quite interesting for the viewers and give them an insight into how all these images are produced.

Has anyone else checked to see exactly what is going to be visible on Jan 16-18th?

I had a quick look on Stellarium and it seems Jupiter will be good for early evening, Mars should be around for the 10-11pm broadcast slot and then Saturn and the Moon available at around 4am. Any high-quality video through a big scope of those would be a pleasure to watch in HD, especially if there is some sort of adaptive optics involved.

I think a feature on the future of astronomy would also be good. Going to Hawaii last time was ok but for me it involved far too much airtime of a pretty girl standing around in the sunshine.

So how about something on exoplanets and the E-ELT?

European Extremely Large Telescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Already this has started to suffer from budget cuts and now they are thinking of downsizing the primary mirror so it might not be able to study the exoplanets after all.. which is part of the reason it is getting built.

Getting the public behind these projects which can only benefit mankind in general is of the utmost importance.. So when the design goes from originally 100m to 42m to now 39m just for the sake of a few hundred million dollars (far less than the cost of a certain broadcasters move to Salford).. You've got to wonder where our priorities lie as a species.

Stargazing Live has a good opportunity this time around to make some serious points as well as providing some decent entertainment.

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So how about some "live-view" scopes set up around the country (or globe even) just in case it is cloudy at the broadcast location?

They do this with "Springwatch/Autumnwatch so should be doable - top idea.

There are also software applications that will stack images on the fly so if you're viewing distant galaxies and nebulas you could keep coming back to them to see the progression as the night(s) go on.

As a lot of deep-sky objects are so faint through a telescope, I think this would be quite interesting for the viewers and give them an insight into how all these images are produced.

Another great idea. Apart from anything else, it keeps people tuned in, which should appeal to the schedulers

Going to Hawaii last time was ok but for me it involved far too much airtime of a pretty girl standing around in the sunshine.

Sorry, I don't see your problem with pretty girls involved in Astronomy. Gives it a less "geeky" image.

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Sorry, I don't see your problem with pretty girls involved in Astronomy. Gives it a less "geeky" image.

It was all the standing around in the sunshine getting a free tan at the licence payers expense I was complaining about. :rolleyes:

Now if they ditched some of the awful daytime TV schedule and did an afternoon slot as well from Hawaii.. when it's DARK.. that would be another matter. ;)

Edited by blackparticle
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Watching a couple of guys standing out in a field under light-polluted skies without any way of seeing what they were seeing didn't make for great TV either.
Yes, it was a bit of a "sausage fest" and there was little that was engaging about it. For the first series I feel they were more concerned with producing programmes about what could be observed, rather than any actionable content about how to observe it. Now it could be that they were unprepared for being virtually 100% clouded out and had to fall back on all their contingency material. However, whatever the reasons it was as disappointing as switching on to see a live football match and being treated to a documentary about how footballs are made ;)
So how about some "live-view" scopes set up around the country (or globe even) just in case it is cloudy at the broadcast location? These could be linked up via the net and the images (or video depending on what type of camera is used) available to be cut into the broadcast as required and also viewable on the Stargazing Live website.
I doubt that they have the budget )or could manage the organisation/logistics) of that. I'd say we can assume that it will be just as cloudy as last time and that if they wish to have any content that involves actually looking at stuff, it must be pre-recorded. At least then they will have reliable content that they can base a programme around - rather than hoping for the best and winging it when nature doesn't co-operate. Edited by pete_l
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Watching a couple of guys standing out in a field under light-polluted skies without any way of seeing what they were seeing didn't make for great TV either.

So how about some "live-view" scopes set up around the country (or globe even) just in case it is cloudy at the broadcast location? These could be linked up via the net and the images (or video depending on what type of camera is used) available to be cut into the broadcast as required and also viewable on the Stargazing Live website.

There are also software applications that will stack images on the fly so if you're viewing distant galaxies and nebulas you could keep coming back to them to see the progression as the night(s) go on.

As a lot of deep-sky objects are so faint through a telescope, I think this would be quite interesting for the viewers and give them an insight into how all these images are produced.

Has anyone else checked to see exactly what is going to be visible on Jan 16-18th?

I had a quick look on Stellarium and it seems Jupiter will be good for early evening, Mars should be around for the 10-11pm broadcast slot and then Saturn and the Moon available at around 4am. Any high-quality video through a big scope of those would be a pleasure to watch in HD, especially if there is some sort of adaptive optics involved.

I think a feature on the future of astronomy would also be good. Going to Hawaii last time was ok but for me it involved far too much airtime of a pretty girl standing around in the sunshine.

So how about something on exoplanets and the E-ELT?

European Extremely Large Telescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Already this has started to suffer from budget cuts and now they are thinking of downsizing the primary mirror so it might not be able to study the exoplanets after all.. which is part of the reason it is getting built.

Getting the public behind these projects which can only benefit mankind in general is of the utmost importance.. So when the design goes from originally 100m to 42m to now 39m just for the sake of a few hundred million dollars (far less than the cost of a certain broadcasters move to Salford).. You've got to wonder where our priorities lie as a species.

Stargazing Live has a good opportunity this time around to make some serious points as well as providing some decent entertainment.

I think stargazing live would be a great opportunity to get public support. Most people have a curiosity about space and astronomy etc but it seems it's importance has dwindled with everyone's day to day lives in the modern urban world. I think by sparking people's awareness again and educating people about how cutbacks are effecting science and astronomy (James Webb Telescope and E-ELT ETC) and what it means we will be missing out on. Just maybe people will care enough to want to do something about it.

I cant imagine people rallying and protesting etc but the Internet and social media sites can be powerful tools when used effectively. One small example would be getting Rage against the machine To steal the x factor number one. probably a long shot but doesn't every long journey starts with a step?

I know it's not the purpose of the show but i hope im not to far off from having a valid point. I cant help feel that the public would/do care. They are just not aware if it yet.

Richard

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I tell you what SHOULD be in there which wasn't really included in the first one....

Some more discussion/info on astro imaging.

There were a few 'and here's an amazing picture sent in by XYZ' but that didn't help de-mistify astro imaging or help encourage anyone to get in to it. XYZ could have worked for NASA and been doing it for 20 years for all the viewers knew... you need to show them what newbies can do for a few hundred quid.

As a recent convert.... I'd have been astounded by the show actually showing the sort of equipment (relatively cheap and simple) used and how simple it can be to capture some amazing astro images.

If it's clear anywhere in the country that week you could literally get someone to grab a load of data on M42 or a similarly 'easy but impressive' target, process it and show the finished result there and then.

I know the process as a whole may be a little dull... but the idea that you can slap a normal digital camera on the back of a fairly cheap telescope, stick it on an EQ mount and take these incredible images of things with relatively little knowledge will be a huge revelation for a lot of people...

Of the 20 or so people who came along to our local astro group following the last show (me included) at least 30% had a serios interest in getting in to imaging.... as such I think it needs a bit more coverage in the next show.

Ben

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They should use Olly's place in France for a broadcast or a pre-recorded piece.

That's certainly not going to break the Beeb's budget plus then we all get to see what it's like and he has most of the gear already with perhaps the exception of a high-end, low-lux video camera.

They could even leave it there with him afterwards for future use. ;)

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I think stargazing live would be a great opportunity to get public support. Most people have a curiosity about space and astronomy etc but it seems it's importance has dwindled with everyone's day to day lives in the modern urban world. I think by sparking people's awareness again and educating people about how cutbacks are effecting science and astronomy (James Webb Telescope and E-ELT ETC) and what it means we will be missing out on. Just maybe people will care enough to want to do something about it.

I cant imagine people rallying and protesting etc but the Internet and social media sites can be powerful tools when used effectively. One small example would be getting Rage against the machine To steal the x factor number one. probably a long shot but doesn't every long journey starts with a step?

I know it's not the purpose of the show but i hope im not to far off from having a valid point. I cant help feel that the public would/do care. They are just not aware if it yet.

Richard

Just to add... The riots and clean ups are another example of how powerful social media can be! All you need is a little bit of organisation, a bit of support and enough people to care.

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If I may add my 2p worth to the discussion...

I'd like to see the basics of astronomy set ups explained and discussed, ie, the different scopes/ mounts available to the amateur astronomer and their specific uses including ball park figures of costing as I'm sure a lot of budding astronomers are put off taking up the hobby thinking that you need to break the bank to get interesting and amazing WOW factor views from amateur kits. An introduction to the art of imaging/ processing which could also include the improving art of live video astronomy which for a fairly cheap price of a video camera/webcam even through light polluted skies, some excellent views are to be seen live on your tv/monitor if hooked up.

I personally was inspired to finally go out and take up this hobby after the 1st set of Stargazing Live shows so hope the next can go on and inspire more to do the same. A show like this as mentioned earlier can show "Joe Public" that this hobby is for everyone and not just the stereotypical types.

Maybe a piece on light pollution and the difference in viewing compared to dark sites would be a good feature. This could hopefully show the benefits of reducing LP around the country but also inform budding astronomers of realistic views from their own back gardens.

As for the presenters, as long as they are truly interested in this hobby and can show this when presenting the show then that's all that matters. The "pretty girl" mentioned earlier is not just a pretty face, she's a very educated girl too and I for one would welcome her back to the show as I thought she did a great job,(not just because she's very attractive, that's just an added bonus for us chaps! lol :smiley:).

I look forward to the show and know it will be another success, look out FLO, I thinks you may need to make sure your stocks are full, you will be very busy again soon............................

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Glad to here that there will be another series.

SGL pushed me into buying my scope.

I've learnt so much in the past 8 months.

Havn't looked back. Hopefully clear skies next time.

The only downside is that I'm tired at work all the time.

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Ben,

I know the process as a whole may be a little dull... but the idea that you can slap a normal digital camera on the back of a fairly cheap telescope, stick it on an EQ mount and take these incredible images of things with relatively little knowledge will be a huge revelation for a lot of people...

They did mention that you could slap a digital camera on a scope and get images. It was I think in the first program.

They didn't go into it in any depth and, at least to me, they then showed images that I suspect came from much more sophisticated systems then a simple scope on a mount with a camera stuck on it. But it was said and to some extent "included". I had the idea that everyone could end up thinking Hubble Pictures from a 60mm Tasco.

For the purpose of the program I suspect that covering digital imaging is both detailed and would take some time, the BBC appeared at the club I visit and for a 2-3 minute shot they took about 3-5 hours to set up, practise and get the one very small bit they wanted. Also the title is Star Gazing Live.

Edited by ronin
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