Stargazing live event returns to Discovery Centre

BBC Two’s hugely popular programme, Stargazing Live, is back and to mark its return Craigavon Borough Council is hosting a stellar event designed to encourage everyone – from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur – to make the most of the night sky.

Organised by BBC Learning the event is one of a number being held all over the UK bringing together astronomical societies, museums and discovery centres, country parks and local authorities for a national stargazing celebration.

It will take place on Thursday 10th January 2013 at The Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island from 5.45pm-10pm.

Set on the shores of the largest freshwater lake in the UK and Ireland the event will host over 20 free activities with something for everyone. These include live observing with the Irish Astronomical Association, night time star cruises on the lake, a telescope surgery and live science shows. There will be topical talks with Dr Steve Meyers, Director of Accelerators and Technology at CERN in Geneva and Dr Patrick Harkness, a Chartered Engineer and Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Both speakers, originally from Northern Ireland, are making the trip home especially to take part. As well as star shows in the Armagh Planetarium’s mobile inflatable dome there will be live science shows, crafts for younger children and much more.

Entry to the event is free but will be on a first come first served basis and places on some of the activities are limited. Some activities will take place outdoors and it will be dark so please dress appropriately. Flat shoes and warm clothes are recommended. Outdoor activities will be weather dependent.

Event parking at Oxford Island is free and shuttle buses from the car parks to the Discovery Centre will be in operation from 5.45pm. Please allow extra time for this arrangement. As car parks may fill up quickly due to event popularity, please be aware that a free shuttle bus service will operate from Lurgan town centre from 5.30pm and every half hour until 9pm. Please contact the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre for further information.

Around 113,000 people took part in Stargazing LIVE events around the UK last year Andy Griggs, Education & Activities Officer for Craigavon Borough Council says, “Last year’s Stargazing Live event was a huge success and we are absolutely over the moon that the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island is the location again. “

The TV series, which returns to BBC TWO on January 8th, 9th and 10th, is presented by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain with over three days of live stargazing featuring epic images from observatories around the globe.

As well as the BBC led partner events, other organisations are planning events and activities during January and February, including local communities, astronomical societies, science centres and schools.

To find an event near you visit the BBC’s Things To Do website at