stargazing cargazing

Travel electric to London’s top stargazing hotspots

Travel electric to London’s top stargazing hotspots

Zipcar UK partners with leading UK astronomer to reveal London’s best ‘car-gazing’ spots and sights this autumn 

  • Reduced air pollution over lockdown makes stargazing Londoners’ latest obsession
  • Data reveals Londoners are keen to try new forms of sustainable transportation which keep skies clear as Zipcar UK reports a 42% increase in bookings for electric vehicles

UK, 6th October 2020: Zipcar UK, the UK’s largest car-sharing club, has partnered with UK astronomer Tom Kerss to highlight London’s top stargazing spots.

 As part of their “car-gazing” EV initiative and mission to create greener cities, Zipcar UK is encouraging city-dwellers to take a fully electric journey to see London’s extraordinary astronomical sights and explore the skies above the city they call home.

 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. Even more, 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.”

 James Taylor, General Manager at Zipcar UK says: “Sustainability is at the heart of all we do, which is why our vision is to be fully electric by 2025. The British public is behind the transition to electric vehicles, yet not everyone has the chance to own one. It’s important that everyone has access to zero-emission transport and switching to shared EVs is a crucial and affordable step we can take to help protect our environment and keep our air clean and our solar system visible.

 “We’ve partnered with astronomer, Tom Kerss, to highlight the importance of keeping our air clean and to showcase the magnificent starry sites that are possible to see when we have less vehicle pollution.”

 London’s top star-gazing spots

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 13 October: Mars is visible all night long – Best around midnight – Looking to the south
  • 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