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BBC Stargazing Live - My thoughts


Coco
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I’m enjoying the new BBC stargazing live 2012 and have enjoyed members on here getting mentioned .. :)

Is it me or does the show have some sort of event awaiting to happen like a near miss asteroid and everyone’s tuned in to await their fate? There seems to be an aura of excitement about to happen? Oh I know what it is... there’s about to be a gap in the clouds :)

My favourite bit has to go to seeing my mate Robbie Ince's pic of M45 ( record for the longest paused image? ) and mentioned again in the credits.. Not seen Rob since.. no doubt the world astro media has brought Bamber Bridge Preston to a standstill.. :)

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I was disappointed with some of the content. A whole 1/2 hour was spent on Black Holes. There was nothing about newbies looking for local Astro Societies. I felt that the experts endulged too much in their own level of expertise and not enough for the viewers looking in who knew little about astronomy. The first evening was good as it concentrated on the Moon which everyone with or even without a pair of Bins could find interest and get involved with. And whats was all that about UFOs, thats not astronomy.

On the first two nights the sky was clear but they did not take advantage of this by going out more amongst to Societies who had set up their scopes and talk to them and see what they were viewing.

The following 1/2 hour programes I found boring and self indulgent.

I feel that all together it was a lost opportunity to capture the interest of the public.

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I was disappointed with some of the content. A whole 1/2 hour was spent on Black Holes. There was nothing about newbies looking for local Astro Societies. I felt that the experts endulged too much in their own level of expertise and not enough for the viewers looking in who knew little about astronomy. The first evening was good as it concentrated on the Moon which everyone with or even without a pair of Bins could find interest and get involved with. And whats was all that about UFOs, thats not astronomy.

On the first two nights the sky was clear but they did not take advantage of this by going out more amongst to Societies who had set up their scopes and talk to them and see what they were viewing.

The following 1/2 hour programes I found boring and self indulgent.

I feel that all together it was a lost opportunity to capture the interest of the public.

I agree with robindurant. I thought the programme would be more about getting started and what to see and about clubs/societies. Didn't quite do it for me but it wasn't really really bad just was disappointed in what they included in the programme.

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I thought it was great and it definitely did capture the interest of some of the public, my bosses Mrs was watching and liked it so much she wanted a new telescope so i ended up helping him choose one for her yesterday, he ordered a Sky-watcher Reflector 130 GoTo from FLO which arrived today, thanks FLO :)

Jamie

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I thought it was excellent...yes, some was complex, but you can't please everyone....if there had been no depth then we'd be getting the 'dumbed down' complaints.

I thought the balance was perfect and thoroghly enjoyed all the programs and discussions afterwards.

It undoubtedly sparked off a lot of interest in the general public.....even my mother in law watched it :)

Rob

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I havent watched much of it tbh, but the mother in law did, and she said

"I learned a lot I didn't know"

So I guess that's a start. Also quite a few people have asked me about aspects of the show, knowing I have a telescope, and we have invited a few round for a peek etc.

Let's face it, it's better than NO astronomy programmes :)

Tim

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I was disappointed with some of the content. A whole 1/2 hour was spent on Black Holes. There was nothing about newbies looking for local Astro Societies. I felt that the experts endulged too much in their own level of expertise and not enough for the viewers looking in who knew little about astronomy. The first evening was good as it concentrated on the Moon which everyone with or even without a pair of Bins could find interest and get involved with. And whats was all that about UFOs, thats not astronomy.

On the first two nights the sky was clear but they did not take advantage of this by going out more amongst to Societies who had set up their scopes and talk to them and see what they were viewing.

The following 1/2 hour programes I found boring and self indulgent.

I feel that all together it was a lost opportunity to capture the interest of the public.

I can sympathise with your view that too much time was spent, (though not wasted), on subjects far too deep[ for newbies, and even some long time Amateurs will have struggled to keep up, me included.

However, on the whole, the shows have to be a big plus, and I sincerely hope they plan some more.

Perhaps they could do some covert research into what areas interest would be of most interest to potential newbie amateur astronomers. Light polution needs to be flogged into submission.

That has to be a must win goal, or Visual astronomy will die in the UK.

Ron.

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I guess time will tell whether it has captured public interest, but it's looking good so far. Apparently the faulkes telescope has had 40 new schools register with them over the last day and it's now booked out for the next month, thats a lot of children looking at the stars.

What i think we need now is a regular show aimed at a younger audience, I love S@N but I don't think its gonna capture the imagination of the young media dominated generation in a way that I think stargazing live does!

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It is a difficylt balance to achieve - something for beginners and something for the more experienced - I agree I think they wasted the 2 clear nights but at the time they didn't know if there would be any clear skies, also the black holes bit went on a bit - but hey - all credit to the BBC for actually doing something for astronomy - surely any extra exposure has got to be a good thing - especially the bit on light pollution

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Haven't had chance to see the programmes yet due to being so busy with the event. However, the hundreds who visited, and by their enthusiasm and appreciative comments in the visitors book, must have enjoyed it, would not have come if it hadn't been for the BBC. Congratulations all round. :)

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I feel that all together it was a lost opportunity to capture the interest of the public.

The statistics tell a different story Robin.

From AOL a couple of minutes ago....

'The man who made science cool is having an extraordinary impact on our buying behaviour.

Coined the 'Cox Effect' – Amazon has reported a leap in sales of telescopes each time Professor Brian Cox appears on television.

The popularity of the BBC2'S Stargazing Live programme this week has seen telescope sales at the online retailer jump almost 500%, while the show itself has seen record ratings – peaking at 3.8million including those watching on HD.'

Whether or not one personally liked the programmes or not, this can only be good for us.

Rob

Edited by RobH
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I thought the series was excellent this year. A consolidation of all the stuff I have read about explained with more clarity.

Personally it increased the sense of awe I have regarding our Universe.

Danny Cohen has been good for the BBC.

Edited by Beulah
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The whole point of the BBC is to educate. So it's good to see something on it that actually educates, rather than the degrading comedy that it has become renowned for.

Even so, it's just 3 episodes PER YEAR. And look at the Sky At Night... that's shown at about 2am for 10 minutes... simply not good enough. BBC needs to clean up its act.

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I really enjoyed it. If I'm being critical, the Liz Bonham stuff was superfluous and I'd like to have seen more of what you can see from your back garden stuff. I really enjoyed the later programmes, especially 2 and 3. John Culshaw was a sort of Everyman/layman and his impression was very funny.

Best of all was my 14 year old daughter seeing young (and female) scientists and realising that she could do this, and these Doctors were very open about saying that we don't know it all, and there's still lots to discover - very inspiring.

Also, there was no Jonathon Ross.

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I thought it would be better than it was. The 1st epsiode about the Moon and the interview with Gene Cernan was very good. A living legend. Should of spoke to him longer. Wasn't really taken with the other shows. Oh and that Dara bloke, not funny and seemed dis-interested at times. Or was that just me thinking that?!

Also according to Amazon, sales in telescopes soared by 491% after the show. The ' 'Brian Cox effect'

Radders

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I have to say I enjoyed the show even though there wasn't too much basic Amateur Astronomy going on.

I think my problem is that I've learned so much since the last event a year ago, much of the content was old news to me, with the exception of discovering new Planets.

Most of the year I'm out observing, ( when possible ) with the scope I purchased after last years show.

Before the show, I hadn't seen any of the Messier objects, didn't know the northern constellations, and hadn't observed any of the Planets, so I suppose the show kicked of a major learning experience in my case and I'm still playing catchup.

I've seen the Sun through my scope, Observed Andromeda in all its glory and only last week managed to get a half descent colour image of the Orion nebula.

The only problem now is that Astronomy has now become an obsession.

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Sky at night is repeated on BBC4 at a reasonable hour and later on as well but it's only monthly and as such we get snatches of time on subjects.

I thought the programs were good, it's undoubtedly great to see our hobby/science getting this much attention and attracting people to the hobby. I do however feel that they missed a couple of tricks with the shows, as I've mentioned in other threads, either a 5 minute piece on astro imaging the moon with a goto scope and a webcam or a series of support videos on their website outlining how easy things are with different types of scope.

I notice the figures for telescope sales on amazon leaping 500%, I wonder what the pre-owned scope sales have been like on ebay though as well a few months after the professor cox effect has worn off? I also wonder if people are managing to buy the right scopes on amazon or are ending up with kiddy scopes, or something beyond their skill level and equally being put off our fantastic hobby?

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The whole point of the BBC is to educate. So it's good to see something on it that actually educates, rather than the degrading comedy that it has become renowned for.

Even so, it's just 3 episodes PER YEAR. And look at the Sky At Night... that's shown at about 2am for 10 minutes... simply not good enough. BBC needs to clean up its act.

Heartily agree with you there. Bring the Sky at Night back to a more reasonable time in the schedules instead of sticking it somewhere obscure. Why not stick it on after the 10:30 news for a trial period and see how many people tune in?

Hopefully the BBC will realise that with the ratings success of SGL they might put on more than 3 episodes a year (with the way that they're slashing program budgets and putting on repeats I very much doubt that).

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I really wanted to watch it, and I know this is silly, but... the presenter really irked me. His voice just went through me. My friend said they'd discovered a new planet or something, and I did regret not being able to watch it... but I couldn't concentrate. His voice D:

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I have read the posts after being second to reply. My comments were mostly negative but if it has give a surge of interest to the public I suppose that is a good thing. I do hope that those who have bought telescopes by watching the programmes seek out a good local Society, like mine Adur AS who's members will put them on the right track to continue their interest in our fantastic hobby and not as some one suggested, get bored and sell their scopes on eBay.

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