University to dim the lights for Stargazing Live event

The lights illuminating the iconic tower of the University of Glasgow will be switched off to give star-gazers a clearer view of the night sky on January 4.

The Glasgow landmark will be plunged into darkness as it plays host to an astronomy observing event as part of BBC2’s Stargazing Live programme, to be broadcast on January 3, 4 and 5.

The programme will give viewers the opportunity to see images from the most powerful telescopes on Earth as host Professor Brian Cox takes comedian Dara O’Briain on a tour through the wonders of the universe.

To coincide with the programme, a series of live astronomy events have been organised throughout the country and Dr Martin Hendry, from the School of Physics & Astronomy, will host a public stargazing evening in front of the University of Glasgow tower.

“The bright lights of Glasgow make life difficult for stargazers” Martin said. “Switching off the University tower lights will give us a much better view of the night sky while drawing attention to the big issue of light pollution in our cities.”

“Cold, clear winter nights are a great time to view the stars and planets.  We’ll have powerful telescopes to look through and friendly experts to chat to, but anyone coming along will have to wrap up warm and it would be a good idea to bring a hot drink too.”

The Stargazing Live event will take place from 7.30pm to 10pm at the South Front (under the tower). More details are available from Dr Hendry on 0141 330 5685, or via email:

For more information contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email

First published: 27 December 2010