Set to air on BBC Two at 8PM tonight, physicist Professor Brian Cox and Irish stand-up comedian and television presenter, Dara O Briain, are back this week with a brand-new edition of Stargazing Live. The duo will host three nights of stargazing and discussion, live from Jodrell Bank.
Featuring guest experts and live link-ups to observatories around the world, the programme is certainly one not to be missed if you’re a star-lover.
With less than 20-minutes to go before the show airs, you can get yourself setup by checking out the stunning Flickr group featuring pictures of the most-wonderful stars in our solar system, surrounding galaxies … and beyond.
Then, bust out those telescopes, because here are a few useful apps that are bound to help you get the most of tonight’s observatory show.
Hold the Moon in your hands. Moon Globe turns your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad into a precision instrument for viewing Earth’s Moon. Satellite imagery and topographic laser altimeter data are combined to render the Moon with realistic lighting in realtime 3D.
Use the multi-touch screen to manipulate the view. Spin above the surface, or switch to Telescope mode to see the Moon as it appears from your location on Earth. Adjust the display time and watch the sunlight shift over the lunar landscape. A “tag cloud” floats just above the surface, labeling terrain features and spacecraft; touch any label to find out more about that feature. Moon Globe also shows you where the Moon and Sun are in the sky with its dynamic sky compass.
A ‘Universal’ app, Exoplanet is a visual and interactive catalogue of all known exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars). It is frequently updated as new discoveries are confirmed. An amazing model of the Milky Way lets you explore our universe all the way from the solar system to the cosmic microwave background.
Star Walk describes itself as “the most beautiful stargazing app you’ve ever seen on a mobile device.” It says it will become your go-to interactive guide to the sky above, following your every movement in real-time and allowing you to identify over 200,000 celestial bodies with extensive information about stars and constellations that you find.
You can also follow the show’s findings live on bbc.co.uk/stargazing.