Your chance to stargaze on live television

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A PLANETARIUM that gives people the chance to learn more about the stars is running a series of events in conjunction with a BBC TV show.

Wynyard Planetarium is taking part in the national BBC Stargazing LIVE event next month that aims at allowing people of all ages to learn all about the night sky.

Following on from the success of Stargazing LIVE last year, the planetarium, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, is once again hosting a series of events to complement the BBC coverage which runs from January 16 to 18 next year.

Throughout January, the planetarium is holding star shows and public observing which include:

l On Friday, January 6, the ‘What’s Up?’ star show is a perfect opportunity for young and old alike to find out what stars and planets are in the sky for the coming month and learn about events such as comets, shooting stars and eclipses. The event starts at 7.30pm and is suitable for children aged six years and above;

l On Friday, January 13, the Planetarium hosts the Cleveland and Darlington Astronomical Society meeting which is open to the public where Professor Carlton Baugh, of Durham University, will give a talk entitled ‘Building the Universe’ from 7.25pm;

l On Friday, January 20, the star show is ‘Rocks from Space’ which explores the millions of asteroids and comets which are lurking in orbit around our star. The star show starts at 7.30pm, public shows cost £5 per adult, £3 per child or concession and £13 per family (two adults and two children). To book, call the Planetarium on (01740) 630544;

l Public observing takes place at the Planetarium and Observatory on the first and third Friday of each month from 9pm to 10.30pm, sessions are free but only take place if the sky is clear of cloud.

Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: “The BBC Stargazing LIVE was a great success last year and it is fantastic that we have the Planetarium here where people can find out all about the night sky and the wonders it holds.

“The talks and observing nights will be a great chance for families, young and old, to learn more about the universe in a fun but informative way.”

The events will complement the series of programmes on BBC Two which will be broadcast at 8pm on January 16, 17 and 18.

For more information about Wynyard Planetarium, log on to www.wynyard-planetarium.net.