Explore galaxies far, far away at University of Sussex

Children and adults will be seeing stars during an evening of astronomical activities at the University of Sussex campus next Wednesday (18 March).

The University’s ‘Stargazing Live’ event will include a tour of the night sky by astrophysics students,  an inflatable planetarium, games of ‘Guess the Gas’ and more.

Visitors will also get the chance to explore nuclear fusion with Lego and will learn about the solar system with inflatable planets.

The community event, organised by University of Sussex astronomer Dr Darren Baskill, will coincide with BBC Two’s ‘Stargazing Live’ TV programmes , set to air on the evenings of 18-20 March.

Dr Baskill, an Outreach Officer from the University’s Physics and Astronomy department, said: “As scientists it’s important for us to explain what we do – and why we do it – to the general public.

“This event will open the eyes of the public to how wonderful science is in general, and also to the cutting-edge astronomy research we do here at Sussex on a daily basis.” 

In recent years, astronomers at Sussex have been involved in measuring the light from distant galaxies, studying dark energy, analysing the effects black holes have on star birth and unravelling the Universe’s ‘cosmic string’

Members of the University’s Physics and Astronomy department will be present at the ‘Stargazing Live’ event, including Dr Baskill; Professor Peter Thomas, Professor of Astronomy; Dr Steven Wilkins, Lecturer in Astrophysics; Dr Kathy Romer, Reader in Astrophysics; and Dr Jillian Scudder and Dr Peter Hurley, both Research Fellows. 

The BBC’s stargazing programmes will be presented by physicist Professor Brian Cox and comedian Dara O Briain, who will be discussing all things astronomical with special guests.

Organisations all over the country are joining the BBC in holding stargazing events, although the BBC’s website lists the University of Sussex as the only place for the starry-eyed to find activities in East Sussex.


Notes for editors

University of Sussex press office contacts: James Hakner and Jacqui Bealing – press@sussex.ac.uk, 01273 678888.

The University of Sussex ‘Stargazing Live’ event is free but some activities require pre-booking. The event is divided into two sessions, the first taking place from 6-7.30pm and the second from 8-9.30pm.

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Wednesday, 11 March 2015