The real stars you need to be watching on TV this April.

Stargazing Live - ABC
Thanks to our brand partner, Stargazing Live - ABC

My son wants to be part of the team that colonises Mars. It’s a one-way-trip. A group of incredible earthlings are being considered to be future martians so we have at least one other planet that can support life.

Thankfully he’s only 13 and too young to be considered because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to him yet. Although there are some times when I think I’d like to see the back of him.

Moody teenagers

For now he’s going to have to settle for using his telescope pointed to the night sky and wonder what it would be like to be out there.

Space obsessed. Image: iStock.

Still, I want to encourage his curiosity because he is, after all, part of the generation that is going to begin exploring space in earnest.

Not knowing much about the universe and beyond myself, I try and expose him to as many incredible resources as possible and that's easy to do in Australia because we are perfectly positioned to see the best the sky has to offer.

Our next event? ABC's Stargazing Live, a major TV stargazing experience hosted by Julia Zemiro and someone my son has worshiped and adored for years, Professor Brian Cox.

He is a superstar in the science world, host of incredible TV series and podcasts, an expert on physics, Earth and the universe, and one of those rare individuals whose excitement and incredulity about all things to do with the universe is infectious.

Stargazing is one of our favourite family activities. Image: iStock.

Over three nights, starting April 4, Zemiro and Cox will be joined by some of Australia's leading scientists and plenty of familiar ABC faces as we are shown the night sky to share in the unique wonders of space and our cosmos.

Like Cox, my son's enthusiasm for the night sky is infectious and we'll be making sure to watch the shows as a family, while also peering at the night sky through our telescope - which we normally use to look at the moon, but are sure to point to the stars.

Stargazing will broadcast live from the Siding Spring Observatory on the edge of Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran, NSW, leading us on a journey through space using state-of-the-art technology and sharing images sent in by viewers.

All you have to do is take an incredible photo or timelapse video of the night sky, post it to social media using the hashtag #StargazingABC and your photo could be shown on the show.

Some incredible photos of the night sky, courtesy of ABC. Article continues after this video.

Video via ABC

Stargazing, is something every family should do at least once in their lifetime. For my family it makes a nice change from watching the usual reality TV cooking shows, that's for sure! Instead we'll be sharing in the wonder and awe of real stars and the beauty they bring. The first episode will look at the Milky Way, followed by the planets and then aliens. Over three nights we'll learn everything we need to know about the solar system.

Viewers can send in questions using the hashtag #StargazingQuestions that Professor Cox and other experts will endeavour to answer, if they know the answer. The fact is there is still so much to learn about the universe and beyond, too much for us to even comprehend.

We're going to send in some stargazing photos of our own and cross our fingers and toes that one of them will be used, but we're going to be up against some stiff competition.


Fingers crossed we can come up with something like these previous photos that have been contributed to the series.


Questions about the cosmos will be discussed, which thrills my son to no end because he always like to wonder what it would be like to be sucked into a black hole or what it would be like for aliens to visit us. Normally he saves terrifying conversations like this for bedtime, which I have asked him repeatedly not to do. I prefer not to think about the end of the world while trying to get to sleep.

And it's not only going to be an incredible television event, but scientific history could also be made with experts and the live audience being encouraged to try and discover a new planet outside of our own solar system.

Imagine that! Just incredible.

Stargazing Live hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Julia Zemiro. Image: ABC TV.

If, like us, you can't wait for Stargazing Live, tune in to ABC TV, radio and online for amazing shows about space and what we might discover in our very own lifetime.

Stargazing Live airs live at 8.30pm on April 4, 5 and 6 on ABC TV.

You can also watch the show on iView and after, switch over to ABC2 and tune into Back to Earth where the conversation with Professor Brian Cox and Alan Duffy continues as they answer all of your viewer questions.

What question would you like to ask about the universe? Leave your question in the Comments section below. 

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Stargazing Live - ABC.

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