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stargazers live.... thoughts?


garethmob
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I liked Brian May. He talked about it as any of us would because he does it like we do. Just with basic kit etc.

To say these rovers have taken Thousands of pictures,i always seem to be seeing the same few ones.

Dont Nasa release these images.

I,ll try the Nasa site and have a look.

Considering how slow that Rover moved it must still be pretty much on the spot it landed on lol.

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Well that was fun :smiley:

based only on the first episode they appear to have switched emphasis from amateur stargazing to science. Brian Cox and Dara Ó Briain are always good together. The second part worked well but looked a little odd with an audience of silent individuals stood behind them. Personally I would like to hear more from Mark Thompson offering advice to those wanting to start astronomy.

Am looking forward to tonight's program. I think Brian and Dara are too, their enthusiasm for astronomy is clear to see :icon_salut:

Steve

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Just watched it on iplayer and i thought is was very good. A good mix accross a broad range of subjects aimed at a wide audience.

I go with what was previously said in that it was far more watchable than some of the rubbish they curentyly churn out eg BBrother, tripefactor, eastenders etc. Tonights episode's look better and I am thoroughly looking forward to watching them.

ps, the JS gag was priceless. :grin:

Baz

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Perhaps because he's an experienced television presenter (more so than Brian Cox, I'd say) with a degree in theoretical physics and a passion for science and cosmology?

James

Maybe so, but i still think hes trying to hard to be funny and hes not. I'm sure there are better presenters available. Anyway this isn't a Dara thread. In all i just think someone else could maybe offer more to the show.

There should be more information on scopes and actually using them etc..

Edited by Mansnake
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as others have said, i found the emphasis had changed from stargazing to a light version of horizon / wonders of the solar system. there definitely needs to be some time given over to 'buying your first scope', 'using an EQ mount' etc. all the stuff that is 100% relevant to beginners and the stuff that will quickly turn them off astronomy if not done right.

one feature each night over the 3 nights, 5 mins max would be ample and would maybe give the casual viewer that little push to go from 'i watched it on tv' to 'i'm seeing it for myself!'

personally, i enjoyed the programme and am thankful when there's anything astro related on the telly. was amazed to see the shear size of the mars rover!

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I think that if the weather was better you may have seen more actual stargazing including targets for the night.

It would have been prudent for the producers to have a back up of science talk and experiments to fill in with if the weather was poor - as it was.

The skys are looking a little better for tonight so hopefully we will see a little more about observing.

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Very little actual "LIVE StarGazing"......

I know the conditions were VERY unfavourable, but, surely the BBC could have various 'set-ups' around our fair isle - so's to guarantee some actual LIVE stargazing???

Mars, Mars, Mars... Very samey as all the 'space week' docus that were on over Christmas - bad choice if you ask me, as the position of Mars is so unsuitable for viewing at the mo?

Moan over, I enjoyed it and will be watching again tonight

Hopefully clear skies @ my locale later too

...M

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I enjoyed the programme immensely. Good balance I thought. I received a text half way through from my nieces husband asking if I could see the moons of Jupiter through my scope as was shown on the tv. I replied yes and he was very enthusiastic to arrange a night down the obsy. So hopefully the programme has got someone else interested in astronomy who probably never thought of it in the past.

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as far as actual live stargazing goes, that can get very tedious very quickly. half the problem is that people see these amazing images of nebula etc without realising just what has gone into producing that single image. trying to show the same in live video is virtually impossible. sure, you could probably get a live view out of the Orion nebula / Andromeda galaxy, but certainly not what can be gained from post processing even a single long exposure of either of those objects.

re january..... i think it's been done this way to maximise the chances of seeing something. summer is out as it's still light at that time. spring and autumn and you're getting into twilight. time is needed to get kit set up and aligned etc, add in the TV stuff that needs to be added into the mix and the time of year is pretty limited IF the prog is to go out live, during prime time.

for me, january produces the best viewing with a good proportion of clear nights (not so this year yet though!)

last year, i had clear skies, so didn't see the progs live as i was out using the scope :smiley:

iirc it was similar clear skies for SGLive, however as they had all the features queued up in case the weather was poor, the actual live stargazing was a tiny proportion of the programmes.

as said before, i'm just enjoying having 4½hrs of astro progs during prime time on a non-pluto channel

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Another comment that just sprung to mind, is the closest it got to 'stargazing live' is when Brian was outside talking about dobs and go-to! :p

To be fair, Brian May was definately speaking like an amateur astronomer.

He was correct to point out that Mars is a very disappointing target to see through a telescope.

It's difficult at times to work out the type of audience the BBC are pitching this to?

I'm glad the guy with the viewers photos mentioned one of them was a five hour exposure.

Overall, not a bad thing if it advertises the hobby I enjoy.

Lets see how tonights programme goes?

Neil

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I think Brian C made a comment near the beginning away from camera saying its like Science Club,and i'm afraid Dara was getting on my nerves in the main prog,as i don't think anyone managed to finish answering a question without him interrupting??

Definately would have been better with both Brians as main presenters and the S@N team doing the reports etc.In my view.

Dara was much better in th after show which suited him more??

I would also like to have seen more emphasis on the gazing part,even though it was cloudy the time could have been used to talk about what we could see and how best to see it,with what sort of scopes EPs etc.

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I liked the programme and the presenters. Darryl and Cox were good ( behave... i know it`s not the fat blokes proper name :p ) and the guests kept it all moving along. I personally liked the wit and banter and for me that`s essential so the subject doesn`t get too high brow which, given my IQ, wouldn`t be too hard :grin:

Looking forward to next one.

Will.

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I think Brian C made a comment near the beginning away from camera saying its like Science Club,and i'm afraid Dara was getting on my nerves in the main prog,as i don't think anyone managed to finish answering a question without him interrupting??

As I hinted earlier, I don't believe Dara is interrupting out of choice. I'm fairly sure he has someone talking to him through his earpiece telling him that it's time to move on and he needs to wrap up whatever they're doing now and move on. In many respects I'm not surprised he gets that job because he's done far more studio television than BC and has had a lot more practice at presenting whilst being given instructions by the production team at the same time.

James

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As I hinted earlier, I don't believe Dara is interrupting out of choice. I'm fairly sure he has someone talking to him through his earpiece telling him that it's time to move on and he needs to wrap up whatever they're doing now and move on. In many respects I'm not surprised he gets that job because he's done far more studio television than BC and has had a lot more practice at presenting whilst being given instructions by the production team at the same time.

James

Yes James i read your comment but even so it was annoying to watch him doing it,but no one interrupted him when he was talking getting his points across??

As i say just my thoughts on the show.Lets hope things settle down more over the next two nights.

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No one interupted him but to be fair, the guests dont have earpieces in with the production team giving them times etc. It could of been to be a little bit longer, or cut down on something, felt bad for the guests who were tryng to explain things, which lets be fair are quite complex, and having like 30seconds to do it in.

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I found the whole thing a little tedious tbh with the better part being the aftershow. I hate the rushed feel of it all and the need for them all to talk at 100 mph, especially Brian Cox, I just found he couldn't wait to pitch his oar in when an expert was speaking. It was pretty funny when in the 2nd part they were talking about the origin of life and Brian Cox came out with something, the planetary scientist mauled BC's 'opinion' to peices and put him firmly back in his place...ie non astronomer!! I appreciate how BC really engages people but I'm sick of seeing him corrected time and time again by proper astronomers.

Given the weather it was always going to be tough ask last night with the live stargazing, maybe a few more pre recorded videos wouldn't of gone amiss?? The 'stargazing' element of the show is a bit misleading as it was a program about all things space, it wasn't 'stargazing' as such. It was overly generalist in the description of topics and it seems to be aimed at people flicking through the channels and trying to rope them into watching. I feel a more appropriate title should be 'Oooh...I luv space me' as it was far too simple and generic and clearly aimed at those with zero knowledge.

Yes I'm verging on being elitist but I'm tired of the continual dumbing down of science on the BBC, if they really wanted to make a program on 'stargazing' then why not go through topics such as explaining RA and Declination to newcommers etc? Give people the skills to enable them to go online or buy a magazine and instantly know how to find their way around the night sky. The maps used at the end to locate objects I felt weren't very clear and scaled correctly for newbies. A more logical route for gazers would be Pleiades, Jupiter, Orion, Sirus. Asking people to pick out the winter triangle is dependant on their view. I suspect many garden fences render Sirus too low for some people to pick out and they'd be scratching their heads.

I get that many people are happy to see anything astronomy related on tv, that doesn't mean the content is actually any good though!! I'd rather pick up 100 new observers with a passion and some intelligence rather than 10,000 newbies wanting it all handed on plate with no patience or inclination to learn their way around properly.

Yes I'm being grumpy!

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Trouble is, if theyd of had lots of pre-recording stuff, then everyone would of said, the 'live' part of the name is midleading. For the conditions i think they did pretty well. Last years they were going outside to the guys in the field fairly often, and i think it would of been the same last night, but when its raining, you cant do much stargazing.

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Trouble is, if theyd of had lots of pre-recording stuff, then everyone would of said, the 'live' part of the name is midleading. For the conditions i think they did pretty well. Last years they were going outside to the guys in the field fairly often, and i think it would of been the same last night, but when its raining, you cant do much stargazing.

True....but taking into account last night they got no live stargazing in due to the weather; it would've least be more on the 'stargazing' track if they had videos introducing people to topics relevant to stargazing...ie finding your way around the celestial sphere, how to set up an mount, which telescope under £400, how astrophotography works, how to use a planetarium program

Looking at the Mars rover is all very nice, but nothing to do with 'stargazing' at all.....

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