Wakefield schoolgirls to appear on BBC Stargazing Live tonight

Year 11 students Georgia Hamblett, Francoise Nel, Emma Brightman and Himaja Sakhamuri will feature on  Stargazing Live at 8pm on Wednesday, March 29, on BBC 2.
Year 11 students Georgia Hamblett, Francoise Nel, Emma Brightman and Himaja Sakhamuri will feature on Stargazing Live at 8pm on Wednesday, March 29, on BBC 2.

A quartet of Wakefield schoolgirls is set to reach for the stars tonight.

Wakefield Girls High School pupils Georgia Hamblett, Francoise Nel, Emma Brightman and Himaja Sakhamuri are to appear on Stargazing Live on BBC 2 tonight (Wednesday) at 8pm.

Wakefield Girls High School students captured images of the Horsehead Nebula, a mere 1500 light years away, remotely via the iTelescopes in Australia and New Mexico.

Wakefield Girls High School students captured images of the Horsehead Nebula, a mere 1500 light years away, remotely via the iTelescopes in Australia and New Mexico.

The Year 11 students are all keen physicists with a fascination for the night sky. They have been chosen to take part in a big telescope feature for the astronomy series.

The girls, utilising the latest online technology, accessed the iTelescopes in Australia and New Mexico, to get unparalleled views of the night sky, while capturing some stunning images of nebulas and galaxies.

Francoise Nel said: “The behind the scenes training we received from Dr Christian Sasse via Skype from Vancouver and Las Vegas was excellent and really allowed us to get to grips with how to take the pictures.”

Classmate Georgia Hamblett added: “During filming the conversation flow was really natural as we got stuck into our challenge.”

Dr Christian Sasse, commenting on their performance, said: “The girls were incredibly impressive, mastering two complex telescopes with scientific skills.”

The space theme will continue this Friday when former NASA astronaut Scott Altman will visit the school on Wentworth Street to talk about his four Space Shuttle missions. It follows on from ex astronaut Eileen Collins’ visit two years ago. Headteacher Nina Gunson said: “Our school has a long tradition of excellence in the sciences but the skills developed by studying subjects like maths, physics, computing and product design are more important than ever in preparing students for their futures.”