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Cardiff UK’s fourth best city to stargaze

They analysed the light pollution levels in the city centres of cities all over the UK. Cardiff finished behind Bristol, Sheffield and Glasgow. The light pollution is measured in Radiance 109 W/cm² * sr.

Cardiff has an active astronomy club, The Cardiff Astronomical Society, who are giving virtual talks during lockdown. With the city being located 17 metres above sea level, the low light pollution levels of 73.86 allows for a clearer time to stargaze.

The 16 cities across the UK with a population of more than 300,000 were measured using data from the Light Pollution Map. London came last in the table with 169.12.


Parkdean have also shared some top tips for making the most of stargazing:

1 – Get up high

The further up you are, the better chance to see the stars. So a trek to higher ground will be more fruitful.

2 – Turn off the lights

You can still stargaze from your own home but turning off lights will improve the visibility of the night sky and allow you to pick up more.

3 – Make sure the night is clear

A cloudy night won’t be the best for stargazing as there will be a lot of obstruction. Check the weather forecast to plan for a clear night, and also there may be a chance of planning for special celestial events to happen.

4 – Research what you’re looking for

There are plenty of apps like Star Chart which would allow you to find out exactly what you are seeing in the sky. You could also map out constellations and try and search for them in the night sky.

5 – Check timeanddate.com

Inputting your location on timeanddate.com will allow you to find out when the planets will be visible near you and can help to plan to get the most out of your stargazing experience.

Full rankings

Ranking Cities Light Pollution Level Elevation Population

(Radiance 109 W/cm² * sr) (Meters)

1 Bristol 58.20 12 463,377

2 Sheffield 59.74 88 584,853

3 Glasgow 69.89 32 629,920

4 Cardiff 73.86 17 366,903

5 Bradford 74.43 116 539,776

6 Belfast 75.28 8 343,542

7 Leicester 79.94 64 472,558

8 Coventry 84.55 94 382,073

9 Edinburgh 86.25 60 518,500

10 Nottingham 94.27 46 332,900

11 Newcastle upon Tyne 105.46 48 302,820

12 Manchester 108.05 60 552,858

13 Liverpool 109.40 30 498,042

14 Birmingham 113.90 151 1,141,816

15 Leeds 132.57 54 793,139

16 London 169.12 17 8,961,989

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