Home > Dark Places, Light Pollution, Stargazing > BBC Stargazing Live Goes Dark: 16, 17, 18 January 2012

BBC Stargazing Live Goes Dark: 16, 17, 18 January 2012

In case you haven’t heard the BBC are running another series of Stargazing Live starting on Monday 16 January for three nights. Each hour long programme will be presented by Professor Brian Cox and comedian Dara O’Briain, and will feature a wealth of information about what’s visible in the night sky.

Professor Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain will host BBC Stargazing Live 2012

This series will focus on light pollution, and the benefits of a dark sky.

On Wednesday 18 January, Dulverton in Somerset [in Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve] will attempt to become one of the first towns in the UK to have every single one of its lights turned off at the same time, as part of a Stargazing Live demonstration showcasing the beauty of a night sky free of the effects of light pollution.

There are 177 street lights in Dulverton making the night sky significantly brighter and making it much harder to see the stars. At roughly 8.15pm on Wednesday (or at the sound of a unique set of church bells), the Stargazing Live team want every single person in Dulverton to turn off every single light in the town, giving people in the area the unique chance to take in the wonders of the night sky free of the effects of light pollution.

To support this series, and encourage people to get out and look up, the BBC are sponsoring hundreds of events around the country, from planetarium shows to star parties, from lectures to observatory visits. You can find out what’s on near you on their events page.

To find out more about the shows visit their website, where you can view images, download their excellent star guide and activity pack, listen to some audio guides, watch “how to” videos, and take part in live web chats. You can also follow the series on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCstargazing.


  1. January 18, 2012 at 18:41

    Great news on Dark Skies, but which was the first? Galloway or Dulverton? There are conflicting views. The BBC does not mention Galloway

    • January 18, 2012 at 19:04

      Galloway Forest Park was the first International Dark Sky Place in Europe (Nov 2009), followed by Sark (Jan 2011) and Exmoor National Park (Nov 2011). Dulverton is in Exmoor, so Galloway was first. However there are also Dark Sky Discovery Sites, smaller places for more local stargazing. That prog was launched in 2009 in Scotland, and in 2011 in the rest of the UK.

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