The Lovell telescope will be ‘parked’ for the next few months for maintenance; replacing the original, now corroding, surface which can be seen underneath. (Continuing work carried out last summer.)
Always a spectacular sight from around the village, our iconic neighbour is currently looking stunning at night thanks to the safety lights while work continues. Sections removed from the original dish are to be preserved for JBO’s heritage at the Discovery Centre’s First Light project.
Professor Tim O’Brien on the replacement:
“It’s not the reflecting surface, hasn’t been since 1970 when a new surface was built above the original. That was replaced in 2002, so we are on the third surface. Each better shaped than the one before so more efficient and able to work at shorter wavelengths.”
First operational in 1957 the original surface of the Mark 1 was replaced with a shallower dish in 1970, with a further upgrade in 2002. It was renamed the Lovell Radio Telescope in honour of Sir Bernard Lovell in 1987 on its 30th anniversary.
‘Continual maintenance and major tasks like those currently underway are a key part of ensuring the telescope will continue to make fundamental contributions to radio astronomy research over the coming decades.’ Jodrell Bank Observatory
bluedot this year will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings: 18-21 July 2019