The SKA Observatory’s Global Headquarters will share a common site with the University of Manchester’s existing Jodrell Bank Observatory and Discovery Centre. Jodrell Bank Observatory – part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics under University of Manchester’s School of Physics & Astronomy – is a working scientific facility. It operates the Grade-I listed 76-metre Lovell Telescope (jointly funded by the University of Manchester & STFC) – the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world – and a distributed network of 6 additional radio telescopes that form the UK’s e-MERLIN Radio Astronomy National Facility. e-MERLIN also regularly operates as part of the renowned European VLBI Network (EVN). The historical observatory was initially established in 1945 by Sir Bernard Lovell to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar during the Second World War. It has since played an important role in a number of fields, including the study of meteors, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age. As such, Jodrell Bank has been a leader in radio astronomy for over 70 years and is now on the UK shortlist for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is responsible for public access to and engagement with both the science and heritage of Jodrell Bank. It is a renowned national and global leader in engaging the public with science and has a central focus on ‘inspiring the scientists of the future’ – which represents the start of the pipeline for skills in STEM. The Centre currently attracts around 165,000 visitors each year, including 22,000 school pupils on educational visits, and has ambitious plans for expansion supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
For more information please visit: https://www.skatelescope.org/