A GALAXY of free activities is on offer for budding astronomers at a BBC Stargazing Live Discovery Night at Taunton Racecourse this evening (January 10).

Starstruck visitors will be able to enjoy telescope sessions, talks, mobile planetaria, comet-making and storytelling.

Special guest is astronomy author, lecturer and broadcaster Dr Francisco Diego, famous for television series such as Stephen Hawking’s Universe and The Planets.

The free event, staged as part of a link between the BBC, Taunton Racecourse and Bristol-based science exhibitors Explorer Dome, coincides with a new series of Stargazing Live on BBC2 presented by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Brian.

Event producer Trish Campbell, of BBC Learning, said: “The Discovery Night aims to encourage everyone to make the most of the night sky, from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur.

“We’ll be calling on a starry collection of Somerset’s finest astronomical minds to explore the majestic wonders of the skies above Taunton.”

Members of local astronomical societies will be on hand to pass on tips for getting started in stargazing and advice on navigating your way around the skies.

Visitors attending the event between 4.30pm and 9.30pm are advised to wear warm clothing, sturdy footwear and to take a torch.

Free parking is available on site and refreshments will be on sale.