On Wednesday, May 23 families around Australia will turn their eyes to the sky for a world-record stargazing attempt.
It’s called Star Party and it offers families a fascinating ride into the universe.
Free community events have been organised all around Australia. The Star Party will also screen live on ABC television with Professor Brian Cox.
Star Party is an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing across multiple venues. To get the record everyone involved must simultaneously gaze at the moon through a telescope or binoculars for 10 minutes.
The current world record holder is the Australian National University. In 2015 they had 7960 people gaze at the stars simultaneously across 37 locations.
This year’s world record event is set for 8 pm on Wednesday, May 23. Currently, more than 100 towns and suburbs have signed up to take part. So the record should be smashed.
Tickets are free, but families must register, usually via Facebook to be part of the event. Larger venues such as the Australian National University and the University of Sydney may charge an entrance fee. These venues have set up Eventbrite ticketing websites to regulate attendance.
The ABC has also produced a Star party guide for teachers to help expand student’s minds. The guide offers lesson plans on the Solar System, the Earth’s axis, and telescopes, with fun class activities, links to videos and interactive resources.
Another great way to get the kids involved is to tell some of the Indigenous stories about the stars. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are often considered the world’s first astronomers.
The Kamilaroi people called the Milky Way Warambul, or stream in English. Others say it’s a big river in the sky which has no water – the water has been captured on earth. See if you can spot the Indigenous constellations – the Emu, the Kangaroo and the Crocodile.
Click here for a few star stories of the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi peoples.
Registrations to host your own Star Party have now closed. The only way to join now is to attend one of the locations listed below.
But don’t worry – there are more than 100 venues.
Here’s the full list of Star Party locations
See if you can find your town or suburb in the list below.