BBC Sky at Night Magazine virtual lectures

We will be hosting a regular programme of virtual lectures with fascinating speakers that will take place online and be available to view globally. Find out more about our schedule below and scroll to the bottom for more future events.

How to use a telescope like a pro

Join us for our latest live online talk as astronomy expert Tom Kerss looks at how to get the best out of that often-misunderstood piece of optical equipment, the telescope.

Tom Kerss

Thursday 21 January 2021, 7pm GMT. Tickets are on sale now at £10.

Speaker Tom Kerss

Date 21 January 2021, 7pm

On Thursday 21 January at 7pm GMT, astronomer, astrophotographer and author Tom Kerss will be shining an introductory light on the essentials of using a telescope, explaining how to get the best views of the night sky with one, and the best targets to aim for from a sky full of stars.

We’ll be hosting the event live online, giving you the chance to put questions to the astronomer and author of books such as Collins Stargazing: Beginners Guide to Astronomy.

If you’re new to the hobby and recently unwrapped a telescope for Christmas, or have had one for a while and want to find out how to get more out of it, this is the talk for you. Our speaker will cover the different types of equipment out there and what kind of views they’ll give.

Click here to sign up for the talk.

Mars at opposition is a great opportunity to get children and young people interested in astronomy. Credit: Jim Craigmyle / Getty Images
Credit: Jim Craigmyle / Getty Images

Tom will also be going back to basics on the essentials of setting up your equipment, such as making sure it has a firm footing on its mount and tripod. He’ll also make sense of the many different eyepieces out there and why they are so important, and cover the accessories that will make your stargazing experience all the easier.

He will also look at motor-driven, computerised Go-To telescopes, stargazing apps and planetarium programs, and some of the top sights to track down in the night sky in 2021.

You’ll be able to submit questions throughout the talk, and they’ll be put to the speaker in the second part of the presentation to be answered live by him.

Join us on Thursday 21 January 2021 at 7pm GMT. Click here to register and buy your ticket today

About the speaker

Tom Kerss is an astronomer, astrophotographer and author of several Collins guides to observing, including Collins Stargazing: Beginners Guide to Astronomy.

A former astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, where he devised and presented planetarium shows for the Peter Harrison Planetarium, Tom now presents a weekly podcast called Star Signs on what you can see in the night sky.

An experienced amateur astronomer and equipment consultant, Tom is an organising member of London’s Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, and pre-lockdown helped set up and run regular public observing sessions in Regent’s Park, bringing his passion for the night sky to many newcomers and beginners in astronomy.

Upcoming BBC Sky at Night Magazine online events

Robots Roaming Alien Worlds

Dr Ezzy Pearson

Speaker Dr Ezzy Pearson

Date Thursday 25 February 2021, 7pm GMT

Space exploration sparks the imagination, but nothing quite captures people’s attention quite like seeing one of Earth’s robotic ambassadors moving across the surface of another world.

In this talk, astronomer and author Dr Ezzy Pearson will look back at the history of these planetary roamers, from the balloons that bobbed through the clouds of Venus to the rovers which have traversing the hills of the Moon and Mars.

She will also look at the landing of NASA’s latest Mars rover, Perseverance, and consider what adventures future robotic lander missions might have at other destinations in the Solar System.

About the speaker

Dr Ezzy Pearson is the news editor for BBC Sky at Night Magazine and presents its monthly podcast, Radio Astronomy. With a PhD in galactic astronomy her first book Robots in Space is out now published by The History Press.