Benefiting from sexy science

Starstruck: Andrew Richens with his telescope.
Starstruck: Andrew Richens with his telescope.
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A LONG Sutton astronomer says stargazing has shed its image of “dusty old men in sheds” thanks to the influence of television.

Celebrity physicist Professor Brian Cox has been credited for giving science a “sexy” new image after appearing in BBC’s prime time shows Wonders of the Universe and Stargazing Live.

Andrew Richens (41), of The Maltings, is a tutor at City College Peterborough, and says there has been a 50 per cent rise in members of the Peterborough Astronomical Society.

Richens said: “If it wasn’t for programmes like the Sky at Night and particularly Stargazing Live I don’t think the interest would necessarily be there.

“A lot of people think astronomers are dusty old men in garden sheds – and there are dusty old men in sheds – but not everyone is like that. There’s a lot of interest from families, children and teenagers, who have been getting involved as well which is a great thing.”