THE BBC’s Stargazing Live programme is returning to the Yorkshire Museum and Museum Gardens on Thursday.

Organisers want to encourage everyone – from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur – to make the most of the night sky.

The free event, one of a number being held up and down the country, will run from 5.30pm to 9pm and will offer families the chance to try different activities and speak to experts about subjects such as space travel, comets and navigation by the stars.

There will be activities in the York Observatory, situated in the gardens and the oldest working observatory in the county.

Weather permitting, visitors will be able to use the telescope to see the night sky and also learn about the history of the building.

York Astronomical Society will also set up a bank of telescopes for people to use in front of the Yorkshire Museum and astronomer Martin Lunn will be giving an outdoor talk, incorporating projections of space on to the Multangular Tower in the gardens.

In the museum, the newly restored Abraham Sharp’s Telescope will be on display, with a curator on hand to bring it to life for visitors. A range of other historical telescopes will also be on show.

Timed tickets for the York Observatory should be booked in advance by going to

Museum manager Helen Young said a Stargazing Live event held at the museum last year was a real success, with more than 3,000 people attending.