milky way
Australia to attempt world record of most people stargazing at once. (Reuters)

Amateur astronomers in Australia are set to break the Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing in one place, with more than 3,000 expected to attend. The event will take place at the Australian National University in Canberra and participants have to observe the sky for at least 10 minutes straight through binoculars, a telescope or a camera with a telephoto lens.

The attempt was organised by Brad Tucker, from the ANU's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. At present the world record is 640. Tucker told ABC News: "We are hoping for more than 3,000 so we want to not only just beat that ... we want to crush it. I want to make it so big, no one is crazy enough to attempt it again."

Participants are asked to register online and are to bring their own stargazing equipment. "If you bring your own telescope or binoculars it's free, however we do have a limited supply," said Tucker. "We'll have maybe a few on the night, small telescopes for purchase. But the key is to be a part of the record you do have to have your own equipment."

The world record for the most people stargazing at multiple venues is 3,006 participants. It was achieved by Mexico over 33 locations on 20 April, 2013.