Astronomy group holds Williamson Park event to mark return of BBC’s Stargazing Live

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Aspiring astronomers are in for a treat this weekend with a special “street stargazing event” at Williamson Park in Lancaster.

BBC 2’s hugely popular programme, Stargazing Live, is back this month.

And to mark its return, the Lancaster and Morecambe Astronomical Society (LaMAS) is hosting the event to encourage everyone to make the most of the night sky.

The idea behind street stargazing is to take telescopes out of observatories and onto the streets where more people will have the chance to learn about the wonders of the Universe.

The Lancaster event will take place on Friday, January 10, at Williamson Park from 6.30pm.

It’s one of a number being held up and down the country, designed to show people how accessible astronomy can be even in towns and cities.

Mike Armstrong, LaMAS chairman, said: “It’s a great opportunity, if you’ve ever wondered about the night sky, to get out and look through a telescope at some amazing objects.

“We’re all amateurs with lots of enthusiasm about space and astronomy and holding this event in Williamson Park connects with the park’s astronomical heritage in the form of the old Greg Observatory.”

People will be able to look through telescopes at the moon, Jupiter and the constellations on show in January, with expert guidance from LaMAS astronomers.

The concept of street stargazing arose in the 1960s when John Dobson, inventor of the Dobsonian telescope, made it his mission to take telescopes out of observatories and onto the streets.