Get expert help to gaze at the stars over Rugby this week

MHRA-09-01-12 Astronomy Jan15 A stronomer Dr Johanna F Jarvis Visit the school with top of the range amateur telescope to promote an astronomy evening. Pictured with year seven pupils Alex Tejero and Lottie Lucas
MHRA-09-01-12 Astronomy Jan15 A stronomer Dr Johanna F Jarvis Visit the school with top of the range amateur telescope to promote an astronomy evening. Pictured with year seven pupils Alex Tejero and Lottie Lucas

HUNDREDS of people in Rugby will join together this week to discover the secrets of the night sky.

To coincide with the second three-night series of Stargazing Live on BBC2, Ashlawn School is hosting an evening full of astronomic treats for people of all ages and levels of experience on Monday.

Around 350 people went to the event at Ashlawn School last year and this year the attendance is expected to be close to 1,000.

With the help of Rugby astronomer Dr Johanna Jarvis, anyone dropping in from 6pm to 9pm can not only observe the night sky but also listen to lectures from leading astronomers, get involved in workshops, get educational materials on the BBC science bus or enter the inflatable digital planetarium to explore the heavens whatever the weather.

Dr Jarvis, of Stowe Road, said: “It’s a great night for absolutely everyone because astronomy is such an accessible hobby.

“You don’t need specialist equipment or to be good at maths or sciences to get satisfaction out of it.

“It’s a subject where you don’t just see an equation on paper but you witness something stunning actually happening. I love it because you can escape everything around you and begin to realise how small you really are.”

If you are an experienced stargazer - or are afraid to take your telescope out of the box - there will be a telescope surgery to get your questions answered no matter how trivial or how technical. There are also one-hour ‘Introduction to Observational Astronomy’ sessions at Rugby High School at 8pm on Wednesday, January 18 and at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School at 8pm on Thursday, January 19.

Admission to all three events is free and refreshments are available. For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk/stargazing or email stargazing@bbc.co.uk