Stargazing Live

Stargazing Live

Over three consecutive nights on ABC, Professor Brian Cox and a cast of Australia’s leading scientists and favourite faces inspire the Nation to ‘look up’ and appreciate the unique wonders of the Southern Sky.

There’s nowhere better in the world to cast your eyes to the heavens than Australia. Here we can see up to 100 times more stars than in the Northern Hemisphere – and it’s not just because the skies are clearer. From the great southern land, we look directly out into the vast heart of the Milky Way.

Production credits: Co-production between ABC, the BBC and FremantleMedia Australia.

Runs for: Three x 60min episodes, on ABC and iview

###Stargazing Live

Three nights - Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 April Live in AEST from 8.30pm, Live in SA & NT 8.00pm, WA 8.30pm

Over three consecutive nights, renowned physicist, Professor Brian Cox and much-loved presenter Julia Zemiro are joined by a cast of Australia’s leading scientists and some familiar faces to inspire the nation to ‘look up’ and appreciate the unique wonders of our cosmos.

Broadcasting live from the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia’s premier optical and infrared astronomical observatory, Professor Cox will lead a breathtaking journey through space using state-of-the-art technology and interacting live with viewers.

Professor Cox will look at the Milky Way (episode 1), Planets (episode 2) and Aliens (episode 3) tackling questions such as what happens if you’re sucked into a Black Hole, and do aliens exist? Throughout the series, audiences will be invited to join an online experiment to discover a brand new planet, far outside the confines of our solar system.

Professor Cox will be joined by experts including CSIRO astrophysicist Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith; astronomer Greg Quicke; Indigenous Australian Michael Anderson who will share some of the ancient wisdoms of his Peoples’ connection to the universe; and ‘Citizen Science’ advocate Dr Chris Lintott. Joining the experts are familiar faces including comedian Josh Thomas and Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis.

###Stargazing Live: Back to Earth

Three nights - Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 April Live in AEST from 9.30pm, Live in SA & NT 9.00pm, WA 9.30pm

Following each night’s Stargazing Live broadcast on ABC will be Stargazing Live: Back To Earth, a 30-minute special on ABC2 in which viewers can use social media to put questions directly to Professor Cox, send in their favourite astronomy pictures and take part in astronomy related discussions and debates live on air.

Anyone up for Trainspotting Live Australia???

Melbourne’s Federation Square will host a free Stargazing Live event tomorrow (Thursday) from 7pm to 10pm, with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Grace Koh and friends, including the live broadcast of the show on the big screen. More details can be found at the venue website.

Hmm…the very well lit centre of a large city to look up at the stars…something about that doesn’t seem ideal. :sunglasses:

###ABC Stargazing Live viewers find four new planets around the same star – the biggest discovery in the show’s history

Four brand new planets have been found orbiting a yellow parent star by viewers of ABC’s Stargazing Live.

The newly discovered system is in the constellation of Aquarius 600-light years away and the planets are each between two and three times the size of Earth.

Professor Brian Cox says, “I couldn’t be more excited about these discoveries - in the seven years I’ve been making Stargazing Live this is the most significant scientific discovery we’ve made. The results are a wonderful and intriguing surprise.”

It is a new solar system, and one that scientists didn’t know existed until today.

Viewed from the outermost planet, the other planets would be easily visible to the naked eye, and would make a spectacular sight. Future travellers would see the neighbouring planets hanging in the sky, one bigger than the Full Moon appears from Earth.

“It’s wonderful that Stargazing Live viewers in Australia have made such an interesting discovery,” said Professor Chris Lintott, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford.

“The discovery of such an unusual system, with four planets crammed together, will help us test our ideas about how planets are made – a question which has profound implications for understanding the history of our own Earth.”

More than ten thousand viewers from all around Australia logged on to abc.net.au/stargazing to help analyse the data that identified the new solar system.

The discovery was made using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, in collaboration with the Zooniverse project and with scientists at the University of California Santa Cruz and at Caltech.

Michelle Guthrie, Managing Director said: "This incredible discovery showcases the pivotal role the ABC plays in building interest in and engagement with science issues – amongst not just Australia’s scientific community, but our everyday citizen scientists.

“The breadth of content across the week on TV, Radio, iview and online, complementing this high quality and highly engaging TV program is strong evidence that ABC’s science programming is of both wide and specialist appeal, educating and informing Australians about scientific news, research and innovations."

Those inspired by the hunt can still join in at exoplanetexplorers.org

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Brian Cox adds a paper will be published about the discovery of the new planets, carrying the name of Darwin man Andrew Grey, one of the amateur stargazers responsible for the identification.

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Big technical SNAFU in tonight’s broadcast with the wrong tape playing. Seems it was from the rehearsal for a segment that was eventually cut from the broadcast.

The whole series was full of minor technical glitches and fairly poor editing, switching and direction but because it was labelled “live” these could be overlooked somewhat.

The 4-planet (so far) solar system discovered. The 4th planet’s year is just 12.8 days.

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BBC Studios launches its production arm in Australia with its first commission for ABC

Stargazing Live 2 will be the first commission for BBC Studios in Australia, following the announcement that BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios are to form a single commercial organisation called BBC Studios from 1 April 2018.

Stargazing Live, the multi-platform television event which inspires the nation to ‘look up’ and appreciate the unique wonders of space and our cosmos, will be produced for ABC locally by an expert team from BBC Studios’ Science Unit in the UK, including Executive Producer Helen Thomas and Series Producer Paul King.

The BBC Studios’ Science Unit format was first produced by the same team as a three-day event for ABC by FremantleMedia Australia in March last year.

Lisa Opie, Managing Director, Factual at BBC Studios says: “We’re delighted to be working so closely with ABC on Stargazing Live 2 after the huge success of last year’s programme. Stargazing is science programming at its very best and Andrew Cohen and his brilliant team in the Science Unit have enjoyed evolving and developing the format specifically for ABC’s audience. “

Steve Bibb, Head of Factual at ABC, says: “Stripped over three nights, Stargazing Live was a new kind of event programming for ABC in 2017. It reached an incredible number of Australians right across all our platforms and on social media. Our viewers even discovered a new solar system in a major citizen science project. ABC is thrilled to be working closely with BBC Studios to make Stargazing Live an even bigger and more exciting event this year.”

Alongside this news, BBC Studios has announced its intention to appoint a Director of Production for its production arm in Australia. This role will be tasked with launching and managing the growth of television production in Australia, building creative partnerships between BBC Studios’ editorial teams in the UK and Australian broadcasters, driving the creation of new intellectual property and exploiting the rich potential of BBC Worldwide’s format catalogue. The search for this role is being led by Mission Bay executive search company.

The new Director of Production will report into the international production division which, from April, will be led Anna Mallett, Managing Director, Production and COO, BBC Studios. The role will also form part of the ANZ executive management team. Jon Penn, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide ANZ, will continue to lead the company in this territory as it transitions to BBC Studios in April.

Anna Mallett says: “This commission with ABC is an exciting first step for BBC Studios production in Australia and we look forward to more collaborations as we bring our editorial creativity to new audiences.”

Jon Penn says: “The new BBC Studios has got off to a great start in Australia with the Stargazing Live 2 commission and this new role will spearhead the growth of our Australian production arm. We’re looking forward to producing more of our own formats and programs for local clients, who already broadcast many of the quality shows that our expert BBC production colleagues make.”

ABC’s Stargazing Live returns to take Australia on a journey through the galaxy

Renowned physicist, Professor Brian Cox and popular TV personality, Julia Zemiro return to take Australia on a breathtaking journey through the galaxy with Stargazing Live, airing on the ABC and iview at 8pm local time on 22, 23 and 24 May.

Broadcasting over three nights from Australian National University’s Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) in New South Wales, the series, produced by BBC Studios, will immerse the audience in a celebration of the night sky, with a focus on features that are best experienced from Australian soil.

Throughout the series, Brian and Julia will be joined by a team of celebrated scientists and space enthusiasts, including CSIRO’s Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith who will be showcasing the capabilities of a different telescope each night and ‘Space Gandalf’ Greg Quicke, who will show to ABC reporter Kumi Taguchi the best sights in the night sky, including live views of Jupiter and Saturn, while utilising low-light camera technology to capture live video for viewers. Each episode will take a unique thematic focus, with episode one focusing on the solar system, episode two examining deep space and episode three looking at space exploration.

Highlights include the return of the Stargazing Live citizen science challenge. Off the back of the ground-breaking discovery of a new solar system by viewers in 2017, this year the program will attempt to identify new supernovae, potentially allowing us to refine the known age of the Universe.

Julia Zemiro will take viewers on a ‘road trip’ tour of NASA facilities across the United States, in which she witnesses a rocket launch, meets the voice of the countdown and enrols in Astronaut School at Johnson Space Centre. Stargazing Live will also take over the Parkes Dish in the Parkes Observatory in NSW, using it to listen live for signs of intelligent life from a newly discovered earth-like planet.

ABC will air a comprehensive suite of astronomy-themed content to accompany Stargazing Live, including special episodes of Gardening Australia, Compass, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, rage and Giggle & Hoot, as well as podcast Cosmic Vertigo on ABC Listen, a dedicated iview series on the night sky by Greg Quicke and a playlist of music to watch the stars by on Classic FM. ABC ME’s Launchpad will countdown the 15 minutes ahead of Stargazing Live each night, taking on daily space themed missions, stories from Siding Spring Observatory, interviews with some very young space experts, and loads of space trivia. Each night following Stargazing Live, ABC COMEDY will air a half hour live chat show Stargazing: Back to Earth at 9pm (AEST).

Stargazing Live 8pm local time on 22, 23 and 24 May 2018 – ABC and iview
Stargazing: Back To Earth: 9.00pm local time on 22, 23 and 24 May 2018 – ABC COMEDY

I watched a bit of a replay of the last one on the weekend. It was kind of boring.

Poorly executed with technical problems, not helped by cloud cover for key segments.

Don’t know about anyone else but when I think about stargazing, I think about it’s comedic value…

In all seriousness, this is another example of the problems which now exist as a result of ABC2 becoming ‘ABC Comedy’

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Looking forward to hearing about Zemiro talking back to the aliens on the CB radio.

Yup. ABC2 could at least be used for other genres. They could’ve made it comedy-focussed but kept the 2.

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ABC’s Stargazing Live set to eclipse a Guinness World Records title

The ABC, in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU), is calling on all Australians to help smash the Guinness World Records title for the most people in one country stargazing at the same time. This live national event will take place during Stargazing Live on Wednesday 23 May.

To smash the record for Most people stargazing multiple venues, the ABC and ANU hope to have over 30, 000 people across multiple sites simultaneously observing an object in the night sky through a telescope for the same 10-minute period. The current Guinness World Records title, set in 2015 by the ANU, is 7,960 people across 37 locations.

To be involved in this momentous event, the ABC and the ANU are inviting schools, astronomy societies, community groups, and all budding galactic explorers across Australia to either host their own star party or attend one of the parties organised by the ABC in Brisbane or Melbourne, or those organised by community groups around the country in both metro and regional locations.

This Guinness World Records attempt is just one of the many highlights during Stargazing Live. Hosted by renowned physicist, Professor Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro, Stargazing Live will immerse our audience in a celebration of our atmosphere, with a specific focus on features able to be observed from our own Australian night sky.

Broadcast over three nights from the ANU’s Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) in New South Wales, the series will air live around the country on the ABC and ABC iview at 8.00pm AEST, 7.30pm ACST, and 6pm AWST on 22, 23 and 24 May 2018. Stargazing Live will also be streamed live on the ABC TV YouTube channel and Facebook page.

To register interest in hosting or attending a star party, visit www.abc.net.au/stargazing or email starparty@abc.net.au

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Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 & Thursday 24 May on ABC, ABC iview, the ABC TV Youtube channel and the ABC TV Facebook page live around Australia - 8.00pm AEST, 7.30pm ACST & 6pm AWST

Renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro will take Australia on a breathtaking journey through the galaxy with Stargazing Live.

Broadcast over three nights from Siding Spring Observatory in NSW, the series will immerse audiences in a celebration of the night sky, with a focus on features that are best experienced from Australian soil.

Brian and Julia will be joined by a team of celebrated scientists and space enthusiasts, including CSIRO’s Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith who will be showcasing the capabilities of a different telescope each night and ‘Space Gandalf’ Greg Quicke, who will show to ABC reporter Kumi Taguchi the best sights in the night sky, including live views of Jupiter and Saturn, while utilising low-light camera technology to capture live video for viewers. Each episode will take a unique thematic focus, with episode one focusing on the solar system, episode two examining deep space and episode three looking at space exploration.

Highlights include the return of the Stargazing Live citizen science challenge. Off the back of the ground-breaking discovery of a new solar system by viewers in 2017, this year the program will attempt to identify new supernovae, potentially allowing us to refine the known age of the Universe.

Julia Zemiro will take viewers on a ‘road trip’ tour of NASA facilities across the United States, in which she witnesses a rocket launch, meets the voice of the countdown and enrols in Astronaut School at Johnson Space Centre. Stargazing Live will also take over the Parkes

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ABC’s Stargazing Live eclipses Guinness World Records title with an astronomical number of participants

The ABC in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU) and Australians across the nation have smashed the Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing at the night sky across multiple locations, connecting communities in every corner of the country in the successful record bid.

The Guinness World Records title for the Most people stargazing across multiple venues at the same time was won during the broadcast of ABC’s Stargazing Live on Wednesday 23 May,

Due to the overwhelming number of participants involved, the exact number of people that helped to win this record is still being counted, however the ABC can confirm that the history-making achievement easily eclipsed the previous record set by the ANU in 2015 of 7960 people observing across 37 locations, with over 40,000 people across Australia simultaneously observing the moon through a telescope for 10 minutes last night.

Stargazing Live host Professor Brian Cox said, “It’s great to break the world record for the number of people stargazing simultaneously, but I think this is only half the story. The real value is that many thousands of Australians have been introduced to the wonders of the night sky, and many of those will be children. They will develop a lifelong interest in astronomy and science, and the impact of that will be felt in decades to come. Perhaps the first Australian to walk on Mars will have been inspired by this spectacular night.”

ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist David Anderson said, “Stargazing Live made science accessible and entertaining for Australians of all ages, across multiple platforms and services.

“Stargazing Live exemplifies the ABC’s unrivalled commitment to high-quality and distinctive Australian content that always aspires to inform, to educate and to entertain, and no one but the ABC delivers such indispensable content and services to the Australian community,” he said.

“Through our world record attempt, we brought communities together in different locations across the country and inspired them to look to the moon and the stars beyond.”

The Guinness World Records title for Most people stargazing across multiple locations was claimed by participants at more than 285 “Star Parties” hosted by community groups and organisations in every state and territory, from remote outback locations to metropolitan centres, including:

  • Large public events in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra
  • 14 universities across more than 20 campuses
  • More than 100 primary and high schools
  • Eight observatories
  • 43 Girl Guide units and 35 Scout groups
  • A special event at Parliament House in Canberra
  • Remote locations including Birdsville, Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha, Kalgoorlie, Uluru, Alice Springs, Charleville, and Broken Hill

The ABC rallied over 1000 employees and community volunteers at Star Parties across the country, to assist participants in the world record bid. All registered participants on Wednesday night will receive a certificate from Guinness World Records to recognise their participation.

Off the back of the ground-breaking discovery of a new solar system by Stargazing Live viewers in 2017, the Stargazing Live citizen science challenge returned for the second series. Viewers were challenged with the task of attempting to identify new supernovae, potentially allowing us to refine the known age of the Universe. Audiences have successfully discovered at least one new supernova (an exploding star), after identifying a flash of light emitted from a galaxy, 1.1 billion light years away.

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Stargazing: Moon and Beyond

Stargazing special to be produced by BBC Studios ANZ and The Science Unit

BBC Studios has been commissioned by the ABC to make a special edition of Stargazing called Stargazing: Moon and Beyond, marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. Following the success of two previous Stargazing series, the one hour special will be produced by BBC Studios ANZ in collaboration with experts from the BBC Studios Science Unit.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience and hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro, Stargazing sits at the heart of a season of programs marking the historic event on the ABC this July.

Stargazing: Moon and Beyond is BBC Studios’ third local production since its ANZ production arm was set up in September 2018. Headed by Director of Production, Kylie Washington, the unit has wholly produced 85 episodes of Mastermind , currently broadcasting on SBS, and was a co-producer on Ten’s recent successful series of Dancing with the Stars , along with producers Warner Bros. Entertainment Australia.

A BBC Studios format, Stargazing will be produced by the new production arm in Australia for the first time, with the majority of the crew drawn from the talented local production industry, working alongside experts from BBC Studios’ world-renowned Science Unit.

Kylie Washington said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with The Science Unit to produce this Stargazing special for ABC’s landmark season of moon landing programs and that BBC Studios ANZ’s crew will be delivering this premium show.’

Helen Thomas, Executive Producer, BBC Studios Science Unit said: ‘It is great to be collaborating with BBC Studios ANZ on this special production, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the amazing Apollo moon landing and looking ahead at the very exciting future of space exploration.’

Aidan Laverty, Manager Science, ABC, said: ‘We’re really excited to be working with the BBC to create a show that pushes the boundaries on what a factual studio show can look and feel like and to develop the Stargazing brand across our different platforms.”

The ABC’s season of programs marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing also features BBC Studios’ spectacular new series, The Planets, showcasing our solar system like never before.