ABC Stargazing Live at the AAT
Colourful lights in dome of our Anglo-Australian Telescope in preparation for the ABC Stargazing Live TV shows. Over 3 nights (Tuesday 4th - Thursday 6th April), Professor Brian Cox and TV presenter Julia Zemiro are joined by astronomers to inspire Australia to explore our Universe and tackle astronomy's most intriguing questions. The stage of these major TV #StargazingABC events will be our Anglo-Australian Telescope, at Siding Spring Observatory, on the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran, NSW.
SAMI observers at the Anglo-Australian Telescope shared the dome with ABC crew while preparing instrument and telescope for observations on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd April.
The #StargazingABC live episodes follow last week's succesful BBC Stargazing Live at Siding Spring Observatory on the early morning of Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st March (evenings of the previous days in the UK). BBC Stargazing Live TV shows are hosted by Professor Brian Cox and TV presenter and comedian Dara Ó Briain. On this ocassion, biologist and BBC presenter Liz Bonnin and Broome-based amateur astronomer Greg Quicke (#SpaceGandalf) co-hosted the show.
The second episode of BBC Stargazing Live was filmed completely at the ground floor of our Anglo-Australian Telescope.
Fred Watson (AAO) appeared in the 3 shows of BBC Stargazing Live. David Malin (AAO) was interviewed in the last show.
During BBC Stargazing Live astrophysicist and science communicator Lisa Harvey-Smith (CSIRO) was also interviewd. Astronomer and journalist Chris Lintott (Oxford University) was in charge of reporting the news of the citizen science project "The Search for Planet 9", led by astronomers at the Australian National University and launched in the first episode of BBC Stargazing Live. This citizen science project uses images taken with the Skymapper telescope at Siding Spring Observatory to search for a new planet in our Solar System.
Meanwhile rehearsals and preparations for the ABC Stargazing Live TV at the Anglo-Australian Telescope continue. These photos of Professor Brian Cox and TV presenter Julia Zemiro rehearsing at the AAT were taken on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd April.
The ABC Stargazing Live TV shows will be broadcasted across both ABC, ABC2 and ABC iview, Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th April, 8:30pm. With a mixture of live crosses and pre-recorded segments that will take viewers on a space odyssey, Professor Cox and Julia Zemiro will look at the Milky Way (episode 1), Planets (episode 2) and Aliens (episode 3), teaching us everything we’ve always wanted to know about the Solar System.
For the first episode, the Milky Way, we will take live images of a celestial object using the new CACTI camera at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The AAT dome must be dark for this, so ABC cast and crew must remain still while these astronomical images are taken with our AAT.
Credit of all the photos: Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO/MQU).