Zipcar UK partners with leading UK astronomer to reveal London’s best ‘car-gazing’ spots and sights this autumn
Following months of restrictions, Londoners have been able to enjoy stargazing properly for the first time in years due to the reduction of air pollution and vehicle traffic. Zipcar UK data suggests that Londoners are keen to keep the sky clean and explore new means of sustainable transportation as bookings for their electric vehicles increased 42% in just the last 12 months. Furthermore, data shows a 38% increase in EV miles driven in London year on year from 2019 to 2020.
Astronomer Tom Kerss comments: “While 2020’s lockdown life has been an unprecedented challenge, astronomers have noticed one silver lining – clearer, starrier skies. With fewer cars on the road and planes in the sky, our air quality improved, and subsequently so did the clarity of the sky.
Air pollution erodes the beauty of the night sky, cutting us off from the stars and making faint objects more difficult to see. By cleaning up our air, we can go some way to restoring the sky’s natural splendour. We all stand to benefit from cleaner air.”
London’s top star-gazing spots
● Hackney Marshes– One of the largest areas of common land in London, Hackney Marshes provides a green retreat for its surrounding boroughs. It’s a popular spot for enjoying the night sky.
● Primrose Hill – Just north of Regents Park, Primrose Hill is known for its fantastic panoramic views of London. With its elevated view, you can rise above the city skyline and reach for the stars.
● Blackheath Common- Close to Greenwich – the historic home of time and space – Blackheath Common offers expansive views of the sky for stargazers in the South East.
● Morden Hall Park– The serene Morden Hall Park is an excellent place to spot constellations and even some fainter objects. It’s the perfect spot for those in the South West.
● Horsenden Hill – Horsenden Hill is one of the true gems of west London – a beautiful green space with plenty of secluded spots for a romantic night under the stars.
Note: care should always be taken when visiting these locations at night.
Top upcoming sights in the night sky
● 31 October: Hunt down a spooky Full Moon – Best around midnight – Looking to the south
● November: Find another galaxy with just your eyes – Best before midnight – Looking high in the west
● 14 December: The best meteor shower of the year – Best after midnight – Looking all over the sky
● 21 December: A once-in-a-generation clash of giants – Immediately after sunset – Looking low in the west