Newbury Racecourse hosts BBC Stargazing Live

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StarGazingLiveThe Racecourse Newbury hosted BBC Stargazing Live last night (January 9) where 1,500 budding astronomers put into practice everything Professor Brian Cox had taught them throughout the series.

The racecourse was one of 12 locations in the UK chosen to host the live shows.

Last night’s event took place in the Grandstand – each of its three floors represented a different zone with Explore on the ground floor, Discover on the first floor and Reflect on the second floor. Activities included workshops teaching people how to use thermal imaging cameras, inflatable planetariums, talks from astronomy experts and an interactive web chat with a NASA astronaut.

Louisa Hannan, learning project manager – BBC South, explained: “We chose the Racecourse Newbury as we wanted one location for the whole of the south, so geographically Newbury is very central and easy to get to. Racecourses are not traditionally where people might expect to find a stargazing event, which demonstrates that you can get into astronomy anywhere.

“The flexible space of the Grandstand was ideal for the indoor event elements and the surrounding land was perfect for putting it all into practice.”