A variant on the classic London Underground tube map has been released, with all the stations renamed after astronomical objects and events.

It’s also an official tube map – as in properly licensed from TfL, and the astronomical information was provided by astronomers based at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

It retains the familiar graphic layout of the classic original, with over 400 renamed stations; all have an astronomical theme. Launched to coincide with NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, each of the lines have been changed to represent an astronomical subject, from constellations and galaxies to spacecraft and observatories around the world.

It’s been quite fun working out what some of the lines represent, and what the stations are named after — so ideal for a budding science student to work their way around, ticking off each station in turn.

Bakerloo – the galaxies, such as Canis Major Dwarf for Lambeth North.

Central – cosmology and exotic astrophysics, including the Big Bang (West Ruislip), and a Black Hole (Bank).

Circle – Objects within the Solar System

District – the constellations in the skies.

Hammersmith and City – Comets, such as Halley’s Comet (Royal Oak) and Hale-Bop (Wood Lane).

Jubilee – Nebulae

Metropolitan – Spacecraft (northern end only)

Northern – Stars

Piccadilly – Constellations and stellar super-clusters.

Victoria – the great constellations as described by Ptolemy.

Waterloo and City – Probably my favourite – the name given to the Waterloo end is a roughly straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system, just like how they appear on the tube map. The Bank end, a black hole, needs no explanation.

London Overground – are moons around planets in the solar system.

TfL Rail – The spectrums of light – from Gamma Ray to Radio.

DLR – Telescopes and research centers, and unsurprisingly, they’ve renamed Cutty Sark after the Royal Observatory itself.

Trams – are exoplanets discovered orbiting other stars.

Lizzie line – (impossible to see on the map, so must be dark matter)

The Night Sky Underground Map will go on sale shortly at the LT Museum shop, or from the Royal Observatory shop.


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One comment
  1. raymond weaver says:

    Who in their right mind made up this stupid system

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