The Fox Magazine

Daily Inspiration:

Dream Bigger
With Us.

Let's Get Social

    New Study Reveals The Best Cities For Stargazing

    New Study Reveals The Best Cities For Stargazing

    A new survey by Compare the Market Australia has analyzed several factors to come up with a list of which cities around the globe are the best for stargazing with Denver, El Paso, and Calgary ranking top on the list.

    Whether you want to take up stargazing or are just feeling romantic and want to glance at the stars, looking at the night sky is a truly magical experience that can help bring you closer to nature as you marvel at the incredible wonder of space. Normally the sky is littered with bright stars and a shining moon if it’s clear. But as anybody who’s traveled around knows, those lights don’t shine as bright in urban areas.

    With the amount of artificial lighting steadily increasing across the world each year, it’s making it harder to find spots to go stargazing. With this in mind, new research from Compare the Market has analyzed various factors to reveal some of the best cities for stargazing.

    By analyzing factors such as light pollution3, altitude2, yearly precipitation, and average temperature levels² for each city, Compare the Market generated data to work out the spots with the ideal conditions for the perfect sky backdrop.

    According to the findings, 25 cities with the best circumstances for stargazing are as follows:

    Rank City1 Light Pollution Altitude Yearly Precipitation Average Temperature Stargazing score*
    1 Denver, USA 160.85 1636 29.70 11.40 8.497
    2 El Paso, USA 186.49 1137 197.70 19.60 7.622
    3 Calgary, CA 153.12 1042 277.30 5.10 6.967
    4 Edmonton, CA 43.34 610 280 .00 5.20 6.920
    5 Madrid, ES 89.51 665 623.30 15.20 6.854
    6 Las Vegas, USA 221.48 613 47.40 22.90 6.693
    7 Phoenix, USA 156.33 366 181.10 24.60 6.642
    8 Canberra, AU 61.55 571 816.40 12.60 6.592
    9 Fort Worth, USA 47.15 203 856.10 19.40 6.278
    10 Kitchener, CA 25.78 336 855.10 8.80 6.202
    11 Barcelona, ES 65.23 47 353.90 16.40 6.165
    12 Sofia, BG 128.92 562 753.20 11.10 6.105
    13 Munich, DE 74.09 524 1071.00 9.70 6.074
    14 Valencia, ES 74.36 23 447.30 18.10 6.054
    15 Newcastle, AU 33.88 48 858.40 17.90 6.015
    16 Budapest, HU 60.93 104 503.50 12.20 5.987
    17 Montreal, CA 36.14 216 783.30 8.30 5.950
    18 San Diego, USA 121.88 20 199.70 17.90 5.928
    19 Vienna, AT 92.56 193 556.10 12.20 5.890
    20 Toronto, CA 48.56 175 840.60 9.80 5.807
    21 Sydney, AU 107.14 58 549.10 17.70 5.791
    22 Prague, CZ 95.34 202 559.60 9.90 5.784
    23 San Jose, USA 102.26 23 452.20 15.50 5.746
    24 San Francisco, USA 93.44 28 529.30 14.30 5.696
    25 Los Angeles, USA 163.01 96 300.20 17.60 5.689

    * The countries were ranked based on their detailed score and not the rounded scores.

    Taking the top spot as the best city for stargazers is the most populous city in Colorado, Denver. With a total score of 8.497 out of 10, the ‘Mile-High city’ is located more than 1,500 meters above sea level making it an ideal spot to catch a glimpse of the night sky! Following closely behind with a 7.622 overall score is another city in the USA, El Paso. In fact, out of all the top 50 cities, 21 of them are in the USA.

    With eight Canadian cities making it to the top 50 Canada can be an ideal place for astronomy lovers. The first Canadian city to rank on the list is Calgary in third place, which is home to one of Canada’s biggest observatories, Rothney Astrophysical Observatory. Thanks to its ideal conditions for stargazing, such as low light pollution and high altitude, it attracts a lot of nature lovers and amateur astronomers alike.

    The next Canadian city on the list, which is located further north of Calgary, is Edmonton. Its 600-meter elevation from sea level and the low light pollution radiance value help reduce atmospheric distortions and make it an excellent stargazing spot for anyone who wants to enjoy the starry night sky. What’s more, the western city of Canada, Kitchener, is the least light-polluted city on the list (25.78), ranking in tenth place!

    For those who wish to catch a glimpse of the great canopy of space from Europe, Spain’s biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona are the best places to do so. Out of the top 50 cities, 20 of them are located in Europe! The capital of Spain, Madrid, ranks in fifth place with one of the lowest values of light pollution levels (89.51), a high-altitude value and a pleasant average temperature value of almost 16 degrees, forming the perfect conditions to spend an evening under the stars. Barcelona is the second European city on the list, with a 6.165 score out of 10 and a low level of light pollution of 65.23. Other European cities on the list are Sofia, Valencia, Budapest, Vienna, and Prague.

    Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, the top three Australian cities ideal for stargazers are Canberra, Newcastle, and Sydney. Ranking eighth on the list with a score of 6.592 out of 10 in Canberra, which is also home to the Canberra Space Centre, the largest antenna complex in the Southern Hemisphere. Other Australian cities which missed the top 25 are Adelaide (27th), Logan city (31st), Melbourne (35th), Wollongong (40th) Brisbane (48h), and Perth (49th).

    Commenting on the research, Hannah Norton, spokesperson for Compare the Market, says: “The worldwide spread of artificial light is altering the natural night environment and making it impossible for people living in populous cities to enjoy the night sky. Our research showed that even if light pollution exists in many major cities, some are better (or less bad) than others for stargazers to go out into their backyards and look up.

    “The increase in light pollution leads to a ‘loss of night’ that is bad for the ecosystem. Also, overlighting directly contributes to energy waste which leads to the inevitable rise in utility bills.

    So, remember to turn off your lights and see how your energy provider can support you and whether you can lower your electricity bills.

    To see the full list of the cities where the likes of Chicago and Paris are included, please visit here.

    Data and sources:


    This ranking table looks at the best major cities for stargazing, across Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the USA. This list was created by looking at four different factors: light pollution, altitude, average temperature, and yearly precipitation.

    To generate a list of cities to look at, 100 of the most populous cities across Europe*, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the USA were used The light pollution factor gives the average radiance of each city in 2021. The altitude factor gives the height in meters of each city above sea level. The yearly precipitation factor gives the total precipitation for each city in 2021, in millimeters. The average temperature factor gives the average temperature for each city in 2021, in degrees Celsius.

    After the data was compiled, each factor was indexed, to give a value between 0 and 1. The light pollution and yearly precipitation factors were given a higher indexed value if they were lower, whereas the altitude and average temperature factors were given a higher indexed value if they were higher. Each factor was then given an extra weighting, depending on the importance of stargazing. Light pollution was given a weight of 4, altitude a weight of 3, yearly precipitation a weight of 2, and average temperature weight of 1. The indexed scores were then added to provide a total score for each city, out of a maximum total of 10. The cities were then ranked based on this score. Where mentioned, energy is referring to electricity. is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. It helps Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, banking, and energy deals from a wide range of providers. Its easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that suits their particular needs. Compare The Market is also in the business of helping you find the lowest fuel prices in your area with services entirely free to the consumer, empowering Australians to make informed decisions.

    Post a Comment

    New Study Reveals Th…

    by Eirini Theodoridou Time to read this article: 16 min