Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Most people stargazing: Australia breaks Guinness World Records record
CANBERRA, Australia -- Amateur and professional astronomers have braved cold weather in Canberra to help set the world record for the most people stargazing simultaneously in one place; the benchmark is now officially 1,869 people, surpassing the previous Guinness World Records world record of 649 by more than 1,000 people, according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Around 1,600 people from Canberra, Australia gathered at the campus of the Australian National University on Friday in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of stargazers. Photo: Australian National University (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records' record for the most people stargazing at multiple venues is 3,006 participants and was achieved by the country of Mexico, from 33 locations, on 20 April 2013.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest astronomy lesson; it consists of 1,104 participants, and was achieved by Shire of Kalamunda (Australia) in Kalamunda, Australia, on 28 February 2015.
The previous Guinness World Records world record stood at 640 people at a single site. But ANU set the new record with more than 1,800 people on site at the University, all looking at the heavens through telescopes and binoculars at the same time.
At the same time, a second world record was being attempted for the most people stargazing at multiple sites around Australia.
The participants included both amateur and professional astronomers, as well as families, university students and many people who had simply come out to see the spectacle.
Stargazers were asked to observe the sky for 10 minutes, through a pair of binoculars, a telescope, or a camera with a telephoto lens.
"We had a fantastic turnout to smash the old record," said organiser Dr Brad Tucker from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "The clouds over Canberra gave us a few headaches, but they parted long enough for us to see the stars and moon and set a new record."
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