Seeing stars for the record


Finn looks through an observatory telescope. Pictures: Tony Nightingale

AN attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing across multiple venues will be held this week at The Briars Astronomy Centre, Mt Martha.

Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society will host the event which aims to have the most people ever stargazing at the moon through a telescope or binoculars for a 10-minute period, tomorrow night (23 May).

The world record of 7960 people at 37 locations was set in 2015 by the Australian National University.

Society members say they are “aiming to set a record so large that it will be nearly impossible to break again”.

The event will include a live screening of Stargazing Live with Professor Brian Cox. Those attending will need to bring their own telescopes or binoculars or buy their own at: for $8. These online telescopes are 30mm in diameter and include an adjustable focus and small tripod. They will be handed out on the night and can be taken home afterwards. Participants in the record attempt will not be permitted to share telescopes or binoculars.

Photographer Tony Nightingale said the record attempt would take place even if there is cloud or rain as only a 10-minute viewing window on the moon was needed.

Admission is $5 which includes tea and coffee. Event registration and telescope collection is at 7pm. The Stargazing Live broadcast is at 8pm. The world record attempt will take place during the broadcast, 8-9pm.

The Briars Astronomy Centre is at Melway 151 E1.

First published in the Mornington News – 22 May 2018


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