Mark Thompson, co-presenter of the BBC show Stargazing Live, delivered a lecture at the annual Stargazing event held at St Peter’s School, York.
The lecture was part of an evening of entertainment that included a full exhibition by various science organisations, an inflatable cosmodome, an array of telescopes, the School’s ‘cloud chamber’ and plenty of scientific tests and games for guests to grapple with.
The exhibition included displays by the University of York Physics Department, the York Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics, but it was not just astronomy and physics stalls – other sciences were represented too. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust were present, and staff from CIRCLE, the award-winning University of York research collaboration with Flamingo Land, brought snakes, lizards and giant snails for guests to see close up.
A huge sun hung above the stalls – as did a large remote-control inflatable shark, which did lazy laps through the air above the exhibition hall.
The lecture by Mark Thompson was the centrepiece of the evening. Titled ‘A Voyage of Discovery’, it was about the wonders of the universe and how much we are learning about its secrets. After the lecture, Mark signed copies of his book ‘A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos’.
David Morris, Head of Science at St Peter’s School and organiser of the event, said:
It was great to welcome people of all ages from across York and the region to share in the wonder of science. The enthusiasm it generated was infectious and we are already looking forward to next year’s event.
The RTS nominated Stargazing Live is now in its fourth year, and has inspired in excess of 4 million viewers to get out and enjoy the night sky. Mark is contributor to the show alongside main hosts Brian Cox and Dara O’Brian. He is also a specialist presenter on the Alan Titchmarsh show and a regular on Radio Five Live, Five News, BBC News as well Channel 4 documentaries.
Around 500 York residents including the Lord Mayor attended the free lecture, with extra tickets allocated for the stargazing and exhibition only. Demand for the event was huge, with all tickets going.
The annual event is organised by St Peter’s School as part of their Public Lectures programme, in conjunction with York University Physics Department and York Astronomical Society.