Jodrell Bank’s Director Professor Simon Garrington posed a question to Goostrey residents last night. During a fascinating insight into the world class research at the Jodrell Bank Observatory Professor Garrington asked residents if anyone remembered the whereabouts of a mobile telescope that had been sited on New Platt Lane in around 1958 and the early sixties.
This was part of an early experiment radio-linked to the Lovell Telescope giving a larger receiving area of 4km, followed by one in Holywell and Helmswell which has since developed into the 200km MERLIN array of 7 linked telescopes throughout England – changing their view of what the sky looked like – looking at quasars and black holes. The Lovell Telescope still plays a major role as part of the e-MERLIN network, which in radio astronomy terms is as powerful as the well known Hubble telescope.
Nowadays, Professor Garrington explained, the Jodrell Bank Observatory is also involved in key experiments, for instance researching how gas and dust coagulate into pebbles and eventually form planets. JBO plays a leading role in world class science, hosts the SKA headquarters and the Discovery Centre connecting with and inspiring scientists of the future.