Millions of Brits are clueless about the cosmos above their heads

Millions of Brits are clueless about the cosmos above their heads.

A survey of 3,000 adults found more than half don’t know our galaxy is called the Milky Way, with 17 per cent believing the entire galaxy is called ‘Earth’.

In addition, one in five believe the Sun is a planet, and 68 per cent had no idea the first British person in space was a woman.

However, the study, commissioned by Google Pixel 4, also found online searches for astrophotography growing 29 per cent year-on-year.

And across the UK, it was revealed those living in Wales are the least likely to turn their eyes up to the night sky for a spot of stargazing.

Nick Clark, product manager for mobile phone Google Pixel 4 – which is capable of letting users see into space for photographs via its Night Sight mode – said: “We want to inspire people to look up at the night sky more often, because when you do, it’s truly breathtaking.

“The new Pixel 4 has one of the best low-light cameras in the galaxy, meaning you can now literally shoot the stars.

“Our results found more than half of Brits say they feel ‘amazed’ when they look up at the night sky – so who better to help educate us on the stars than Tim Peake, who has been closer to them than many of us ever will.”

The British astronaut was taken to the village of Star, in Pembrokeshire, to talk to its inhabitants about his love of taking pictures in space.

During the visit, Tim talked to residents of Star and school children from Ysgol Clydau about what they could see in the night sky.

He said: “It's very hard to describe the feeling of looking at the Earth from space, but when you see stunning images of space taken from Earth it definitely evokes some of that same feeling.

“Now that I have my feet firmly on the ground, it's been wonderful to share my mission with the public and to support Google's campaign to bring people closer to the stars, looking up and learning more about our universe.”

More than a tenth of the population believe there are 12 planets in our solar system – not eight.

Forty-four per cent of Brits would like to know how to spot the constellations in the sky, and a quarter want to be able to photograph them properly.

And after their partners and kids, the most popular person adults would like to stargaze with was revealed as Professor Brian Cox, followed by Sir David Attenborough.

Local County Councillor for Star Rod Bowen added: “Experiences like this don’t usually happen in our town so when everyone got wind of the opportunity, we all came together to turn off the lights for a special evening with Tim.

“It was fascinating and made us even more grateful for our incredible night sky.”