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BBC STARGAZING LIVE - Fontwell Racecourse

BBC SUSSEX RADIO Yesterday, Tuesday 17th January, started with an 0630-0645hrs BBC Sussex outside radio interview with reporter Simon Jenkins at the foot of the South Downs. Blessed with silence, perfect 'seeing' and stunning views of Mars, Saturn, the crescent Moon, Antares, and an incredibly timely pass of the International Space Station, it was one hell of a way to start the day! Saturn's rings were gorgeous through the telescope and Simon's enthusiasm was infectious. Astronomy just doesn't get any better than this!

The live and recorded interview was prelude to the evening BBC Stargazing event at Fontwell Racecourse where I was privileged to be a Guest Speaker supporting Dr John Mason of the South Downs Planetarium and BBC Sky at Night fame. With the exception of a twenty-minute window, the sky was clouded out, but in that time a number of the roughly 2,000 visitors enjoyed stunning views of Jupiter and the four largest satellites through Dobsonian and Meade telescopes. Despite the lack of stars, public interest was amazing. All incredibly heartening, and what a time to be involved in astronomy!

Thank you to everyone!

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