Londoners attended a one off urban astrophotography event this evening with ​Google Pixel 4 at The View from The Shard, which saw the iconic building turn off the top of its lights for one hour to allow people to get closer to the stars and capture the constellations.

Google Pixel 4 partnered with the Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG) for the event, bringing astronomer Tom Kerss in to talk to about the cosmos and the history of astrophotography. The newly launched Google Pixel 4 comes with Night Sight, a new feature that allows you to see into space and capture the Milky Way in just one tap, making astrophotography accessible to everyone.

New research* shows that ​when asked why they didn’t stargaze, over a quarter (26.7%) of Londoners said they live in a city where they can’t see the stars but wish they could. The percentage for this response was higher than any other city in the UK.

Google worked with a team of social experts to analyse almost 30,000 UK Instagram posts** related to hashtags such as #NightSky to find out where the most popular images of night sky locations are currently taken in the capital. These posts were then analysed by frequency and geographic location to identify the top 10 London locations:

Top 10 most popular Night Sky locations in London:

  1. Tower Bridge
  2. The Shard
  3. The London Eye
  4. The Royal Observatory Greenwich
  5. South Bank
  6. St Paul’s Cathedral
  7. London Bridge
  8. Sky Garden
  9. The 02 Greenwich
  10. Millennium Bridge

Tower Bridge takes the top spot as the most popular night sky location to photograph in London followed by The Shard, London Eye and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Nick Clark, Product Manager for Google Pixel 4 said: ​”Our research has shown that over 10% of Londoners can’t remember the last time they looked at the night sky. We want to inspire people to spend more time looking up at the stars. With enhanced Night Sight on the new Pixel 4, anyone can take incredible pictures of the galaxy – and where better to demonstrate this than in the UK’s tallest building, The Shard.”

Tom Kerss, Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich added: ​“With so many people living in urban areas it may seem like our connection to the night sky is lost, but even in the glow of London lights the brightest stars, planets and the Moon can still be seen with the naked eye. These days we take photos of everything and it’s incredible that we can now capture the stars using just the smartphone technology in our pockets.”

The event and partnership with ROG is part of a wider mission from Google Pixel 4 to bring people closer to the stars. The next event will take place at the Royal Observatory Greenwich on 18th November, limited tickets will be released ahead of time.