Will Gater is an astronomy journalist, author and presenter. His work has appeared in New Scientist, BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Focus and Astronomy Now, among others.
He is the author of several popular astronomy books – including The Cosmic Keyhole and The Night Sky Month by Month – and is the co-author of Dorling Kindersley’s The Practical Astronomer and Nature Guide: Stars and Planets.
Will is passionate about communicating the wonders of the Universe to all. He has made numerous appearances on television and radio to talk about astronomy and space, including on Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, The Sky at Night and BBC One’s The One Show as well as Sky News, BBC News and the BBC World Service. He has also worked behind the camera as the astronomy researcher on the BBC’s long-running stargazing series The Sky at Night and hosted live astronomy shows for Slooh.com featuring real-time broadcasts of major space events alongside interviews with prominent astronomers, scientists and astronauts.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, member of the Association of British Science Writers and has a degree in astrophysics from University College London.
Will began his career as a professional science writer in 2006 and went on to work as the news editor of Astronomy Now magazine. In 2008 he joined the BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine where he worked for five-and-a-half years before going freelance in 2013. His writing has covered a wide variety of celestial subjects, from planetary science and cosmology to astrophysics and observational astronomy.
He has also written press and outreach materials for the European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope press office and the European Southern Observatory and was the assistant editor of the first issue of the International Astronomical Union’s Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal.
Will especially enjoys talking about astronomy and has been giving public lectures at society meetings, star parties and even music festivals around Europe for over fifteen years. In 2016 he performed his first live stage show, The Story of the Solar System, which he now hopes to tour to theatres around the UK.
Will is also an experienced astrophotographer and observational astronomer and can often be found stargazing or imaging under the dark skies of Somerset and Exmoor as well as Dartmoor in Devon, the county where he grew up. His pictures of the night sky have appeared in books, magazines and on TV all over the world, and he has been on the judging panel for the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition since its launch in 2009.
Will loves the outdoors and relishes astronomical adventures of all kinds. He has travelled the globe to observe and photograph some of nature’s most awe-inspiring celestial sights, from planetary transits and solar eclipses to the Northern Lights and even the occasional bright comet. In March 2015 he helped lead a successful eclipse-chasing trip to the Faroe Islands to see a total solar eclipse. He has also worked as one of the guest astronomers on Omega Holidays’ Northern Lights flights, which go in search of the aurora from the air.
When not looking at the stars, Will spends his spare time walking on the hills of Dartmoor and Somerset and fossil hunting on Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast.
Will in the news
Interview on World Have Your Say (BBC World Service) about Rosetta/Philae mission, 12 November 2014. [Listen here]
Guest appearance on Slooh live broadcast about the Philae landing, 12 November 2014. [Watch here]
Interview for the BBC World Service’s Outside Source programme about the Rosetta mission, 6 August 2014. [Listen here]
Interview about getting into astronomy for the National Trust Magazine‘s spring 2014 audio edition, January 2014. [Listen here]
“When does autumn really start?”, The Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2013. [Read the article here]
Interview for the Royal Observatory Greenwich blog about ‘Visions of the Universe’, June 2013. [Read the interview here]
“To infinity and beyond”, Photography Monthly magazine, June 2012.
“Silent night”, Lost in London magazine, winter issue 2011-2012.
“How to…follow yonder star”, Reader’s Digest, December 2011.
“Starstruck: The importance of amateur astronomy”, The Independent, 18 October 2010. [Read the article here]
BBC Focus magazine podcast, February 2010. [Listen here]