Recent research has revealed a startling gap in knowledge amongst the British public regarding stars and the universe.

In a survey carried out by cottages4you, 40% of people admitted that they know little or nothing and only half of us have been to an observatory or looked through a telescope. The company says that the findings highlight the ignorance of the British public when it comes to most things astronomical with one in five people believing man has already walked on Mars.

 

However most Britons recognise their shortcomings when it comes to the night sky, with a huge 85% asserting that learning about the stars and our solar system should be taught in schools. Other findings from the research revealed that only a quarter of people correctly identified that there are eight planets in the solar system – Pluto was declassed as a planet in 2006; 7% of people thought Cupid was a planet;  75% of Britons couldn’t identify the names of well-known star constellations; and 12% of people knew there are 88 constellations.

 The operator's managing director, Geoff Cowley, said: “The long dark nights mean this is the perfect time of year to get stargazing and with a meteor shower scheduled for December, there’s lots to see. We have thousands of cottages across the UK, many located in rural areas with less light pollution and clear country horizons, the ideal conditions for discovering the natural beauty of our night skies.”  

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