Thousands of star enthusiasts will bask under the sky tonight in an attempt to set two Guinness World Records as part of National Science Week.
The two records include “Most People Stargazing at a Single Site” in Canberra and “Most People Stargazing Across Multiple Sites in a Country” [Australia].
Sutherland Astronomical Society Incorporated Hon. Secretary Brett McMillan said the number of sites means chances are looking good for the countrywide record.
“There are over 40 sites across Australia participating so I think the multi-site record will be easier to achieve than the individual site record in Canberra,” he said.
Although McMillan said the issue of cloud clover and rain could push back the time or potentially cancel the event.
“Weather is the main concern, a rainy night will ruin our chances, especially in the larger centres like Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,” he said.
“Scheduled starting time… may be adjusted on the night by the national organisers depending on weather conditions in various other cities.”
Macarthur Astronomical Society (MAS) President Tony Law believes the sheer number of telescopes provide a good chance of success.
“MAS is involved in the national event and it seems around 10,000 telescopes are going to be out there… that will smash the record,” he said.
“I understand there is every confidence that Canberra will reach the single site target.”
Teacher Alison McGregor who is hosting a site in Victoria said the event is also a special opportunity to appreciate learning.
“I really enjoy witnessing students share their scientific knowledge with others, it makes me proud,” she said.
“There is also something special about sharing a learning experience with somebody.”
McGregor encourages everyone to engage in Science Week and explore not only the universe but their minds.
“Science means knowledge… We need to explore further, expand our hopes and broaden our view of all possibilities; exploring further into our universe is definitely one way to achieve this aim,” she said.
To find out how you can be part of the records visit http://rsaa.anu.edu.au/world-record-stargazing