The ABC has inspired more than 46,000 Australians to claim the Guinness World Record title for the most people stargazing across multiple locations, connecting communities in every corner of the country in the successful bid.
The ABC’s Stargazing Live community initiative, in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU), saw 46,345 amateur astronomers simultaneously observe the moon through a telescope for 10 minutes – eclipsing the previous mark of 7960 people, set by ANU in 2015.
In total, the world record attempt brought together more than 62,000 people at almost 300 “star parties” hosted by community groups and organisations across the country. The May 23 event, held during the broadcast of Stargazing Live, was the ABC’s largest community engagement initiative and the first to cover the whole nation simultaneously.
Stargazing Live was broadcast live around the country for the first time on ABC TV and ABC ME, as well as being streamed live on ABC iview and the ABC TV YouTube channel and Facebook page.
ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist David Anderson said: “Stargazing Live made science accessible and entertaining for Australians of all ages, across multiple platforms and services. The national initiative demonstrated the ABC’s commitment to high-quality and distinctive Australian content that aspires to inform, to educate and to entertain. No one but the ABC delivers such indispensable content and services to the Australian community.
“Through our world record attempt, we brought communities together in different locations across the country and inspired them to look to the moon and the stars beyond.”
The ABC rallied more than 1000 employees and community volunteers at star parties across the country, to assist participants in the world record bid. The national initiative demonstrated the ABC’s unrivalled capacity to inform, educate, entertain and engage all Australians through high-quality, distinctive content.