ABC gets Stargazing for kids

ABC ME debuts Stargazing for Beginners and Play School opens up three astronomy themed windows.

Both ABC ME and ABC KIDS are getting in on the thrill of Stargazing Live this week with Stargazing for Beginners, a new 8-part animated series that encourages kids to look up at the stars.

In a world where so little time is left for wonder, sound artist Camilla Hannan invites you to look up and beyond. Bringing these stories to life is animator Isobel Knowles who invites you to look up into the heavens and discover your fate in the stars. The space race, Star Wars, the Big Bang: the galaxies have always loomed large in science and our imagination. Stargazing has always been very DIY and in this series, we are given pointers on how to begin with the multitudes that fill our skies.

These episodes screen from 5:30pm today on ABC ME until Saturday.

Meanwhile Play School also gets in on the action today with three astronomy themed windows films (pictured) produced by Fredbird. Each window segment explores a unique aspect of space – as viewed through the eyes of children.

Head of Fredbird Kids Sarah Dabro, said: “It’s been a thrill to work with the Play School team on
such an innovative special, which will inspire a whole new generation of Australians to discover
the wonders of the Universe”

Play School: Here to There, on ABC KIDS at 9.30am Monday 3rd April.

Stargazing For Beginners:

Episode 1: In the Beginning – Monday April 3 at 5.30pm on ABC ME & ABC iview
Come outside. Look up at the Milky Way, sweeping from the southwest horizon to the northeast. All you need for a good night’s viewing is yourself, a good idea of where south and east are, and your hands.

Episode: 2 Orion – Tuesday April 4 at 5.30pm on ABC ME & ABC iview
Orion was a mighty hunter who vowed to kill all the earth’s animals. Gaia, goddess of the earth asked Scorpio to kill Orion. Scorpio succeeded in killing Orion – he stung him with his stinger. To reward him, Gaia placed Scorpio in the night sky and you can see him chasing Orion across the sky in springtime. Looking northwest in the night sky, the three bright stars together are Orion’s Belt, the two to the north are his shoulders and two to the south are his feet.

Episode 3: Lake in Brazil – Wednesday April 5 at 5.30pm on ABC ME & ABC iview
In a wooden canoe, in the middle of the night on a lake in Brazil in the heart of the Amazon forest, I can see nothing but stars, stars in the sky and reflected in the water. Accompanied by a frog chorus, we are reminded to take the time to go outside and gaze up at the night sky and bathe in its beauty.

Episode 4: Satellites – Thursday April 6 at 5.30pm on ABC ME & ABC iview
Ever seen a shooting star? What colour was it? If it was pink or multicolored, it may have been one of the millions of pieces of space junk that litter our orbit. Space is far from empty. Tens of thousands of satellites orbit the earth and reflect the sunlight, so sometimes they are mistaken for stars. The International Space station is the largest and brightest man made object orbiting the earth, sometimes shining brighter than Venus or Sirius. In this way, we humans have created our own stars.

Episode 5: Owl and the Pussycat – Friday April 7 at 5.30pm on ABC ME & ABC iview
Many stories look up to the night sky for inspiration. From the Owl and the Pussycat who looked up to the stars above to many myths and legends from around the world, inspiration is drawn from the skies. Set out on a voyage of discovery and wonder, traversing the oceans and skies with the aid of the constellations. Using the stars as reference points for navigation, until Magellan circumnavigated the earth, the earth was believed to be flat.

Episode 6: Aurora Australis – Saturday April 8 at 5.30pm on ABC ME & ABC iview
It snaps and crackles, it pops and claps. Aurora Borealis is the northern lights, Aurora Australis is the southern lights in the southern hemisphere. This stunning light show can be seen from some parts of Tasmania. This episode explains the science behind the Southern Lights and how what we see is similar to a glowing neon light.

Episode 7: Chaos
The universe is a chaotic place with constant construction and destruction with stars being constantly created and destroyed. Because space is so vast, earth can safely continue in its orbit safely without hitting other objects, but space junk litters the skies.

Episode 8: The Overview Effect
The overview effect describes the feeling astronauts experienced while looking back at the small dot of earth, our home in the magnitude of space. The fragility of earth inspired them to want to protect the planet from its own destruction and look after our world.

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