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Stargazing LIVE in London

An image of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2001.
An image of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2001.

If you have ever fancied looking up at the stars and understanding the skies then help is at hand.

BBC Learning will be encouraging people to attend free local events or to take part at home during the first week of January 2011 to coincide with a new BBC Two programme.

Between the 3-5 of January - Professor Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain are hosting three days of live stargazing featuring epic images from observatories around the globe.

Stargazing LIVE reveals stunning images from Earth's most powerful telescopes - and beyond - during three nights of extraordinary astronomical events.

UCL's Astronomical Observatory in Mill Hill
To help get involved there are events across London including;

An Evening with the Stars at the Norman Fisher Observatory
Partial Solar Eclipse at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath
Observatory Open Evening at the University of London Observatory, Mill Hill Park
Hunting for Aliens at the Natural History Museum
January Moonwatch at the Royal Observatory
Irregular Stargazing with the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers
Stargazing Live! at Ruislip Lido

For full details, contacts and more events please visit the Stargazing LIVE event finder for London .

100 years of stargazing

The Hampstead Scientific Society is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its observatory, one of the few in London that regularly opens to the public.

They will also be taking part with Stargazing LIVE events and BBC London met up with the society's president who talked about his love for astronomy.

Stargazing LIVE

Professor Brian Cox will give viewers, and Dara, a crash stargazing course beginning on Monday 3 January 2011 on BBC Two at 8pm.

Join Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain to wonder at the night sky, with extraordinary images beamed in from telescopes across the globe. Learn how to observe and take pictures over three busy days in the celestial calendar, with a meteor shower, a partial eclipse of the sun and the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, burning bright.

Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain
Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain

Wannabe stargazer Jonathan Ross gets a crash course in planet spotting in his own back garden; while in Hawaii, Liz Bonnin reports from the edge of a volcano to help explain how the Earth was formed.

You will also be able to post your space pictures to the Photo Group and have your say at #bbcstargazing

Got a question for Brian? Email it to stargazing@bbc.co.uk


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