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BBC Stargazing Live: A Request for Volunteers

BBC Stargazing Live

by Grey Lipley

Mike Meynell and I have had our first meeting with the BBC to discover what they have planned for Stargazing Live at the NMM/ROG in 2013. The discussion was very informative and extremely positive. While we listened it became apparent that the proposed event is far larger than the one we organised earlier this year at Charlton House.

This new event will take place at the National Maritime Museum on the evening of Thursday 10th January and will be ticketed.

Flamsteed members have been asked to develop and run a number of exciting initiatives. They include viewing the Night Sky outdoors, a Telescope Workshop, talks on Astro Photography, Solar Viewing, Radio Astronomy, an Equipment Display and ‘The Sky This Month’. Working independently and following our discussion, two large distinct areas have been provided for our sole use…

1. On the grass adjacent to the south side of the ‘west colonnade’, we would like to set up approximately 24 telescopes of differing types. Following the success of Charlton House, these should be as diverse a selection as we can find, designed to interest all types of visitors from those starting out to those wishing to upgrade. Binoculars and Monoculars mounted on tripods will all have a part to play as will Star Charts and Phone Apps. The amount of equipment required is in response to the expected number of visitors. Mike and I have chosen this location so we can retreat into the colonnade should the weather turn nasty.

2. The other area given over to us is inside and can be reached by lift or the staircase near to where the new Sammy Ofer Wing connects with the older part of the NNM. The large landing could, I think, display a range of material including our Coronado Telescopes and recently acquired Radio Astronomy equipment. It would also be a great place to present images of the Sun and the night sky using software. The large area to the left and partially partitioned, would be ideal for Astro Photography talks using a projector with around 40 chairs set out for those attending. We hope also to utilise the gallery to the right of the landing as an area for the Telescope Workshop.

As you can imagine a great deal of work is going to be required to set this up and run it on the night. Nevertheless Mike and I feel that with your considerable help what is proposed can be achieved. Having two adjacent areas of our own, will certainly help with communications and allow me to provide breaks and a change of activity for those who need it. I do hope you will feel sufficiently excited to offer your help with this prestigious event for London. I can only say that, as far as I’m aware, all those who helped at Charlton House found the experience extremely rewarding and enjoyable. Mike and I very much look forward to chatting with you about this further and welcoming you on board.

If you are a Flamsteed member who is interested in volunteering to help out at this event, but who hasn’t already been in touch with us, please contact us as soon as possible.

In anticipation of your offers of help!

As always my very best wishes,

Grey Lipley

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