A night with the stars

O Briain to front astronomy series

Dara O Briain is to take part in a three-day astronomy event for BBC Two.

The comic will be joined by Professor Brian Cox and Jonathan Ross, who is making a return to the BBC after quitting his chat show in the wake of the Sachsgate scandal.

Stargazing Live will be broadcast from the site of one of the world's largest telescopes – the Lovell Telescope at the University of Manchester – and aims to spark public interest in astronomy.

BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow said: ‘Next year BBC Two will build on its factual strategy for 2010 – putting really creative and ambitious series in the heart of the schedule with the best experts and the most passionate advocates.

‘In our live Stargazing event, Brian Cox is to be joined by a surprising duo of astronomy enthusiasts, Dara O Briain and Jonathan Ross, for a live exploration of the solar system.’

O Briain studied maths and theoretical physics at University College Dublin, and has recently started incorporating scientific ideas in his stand-up; while Ross is said to have telescopes at his home.

The series airs in January and hopes to capture three of that month’s unusual astronomical events: partial solar eclipse, the Quadrantids meteor shower and Jupiter aligning with Uranus.

Amateur astronomers will also be invited to share their best photographs of the night skies online, to be showcased during the live shows.

Published: 25 Nov 2010

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