The Jodrell Bank Observatory is a very special place. It is one of the most significant places, worldwide, that played a role in the development of the new science of Radio Astronomy.  This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of astronomy at Jodrell Bank.

We launched our year-long anniversary programme on 14th December 2016, 70 years to the day since Sir Bernard Lovell first began scanning the skies from Jodrell Bank.

Many people do not realise that, until Radio Astronomy emerged, Astronomy was carried out using solely optical telescopes (telescopes that we can look through to see objects in the night sky). Radio Astronomy was one of the first steps towards Modern Astrophysics, which also uses the rest of the ‘invisible’ light (e.g. infra red, ultra violet, X-rays, radio waves) that comes to us from objects around us in space.

The Jodrell Bank site has seen many important developments in this science and is home to pieces of equipment and buildings (many still in use) that generated important scientific results that changed our view of the Universe around us.

In recognition of this importance, the Lovell Telescope is a Grade 1 listed structure and Jodrell Bank is on the UK shortlist (the ‘Tentative List’) for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

We have recently begun a formal programme of work to gather together records and stories about our heritage from people who live in our area, who work here or worked here in the past – some of whom are now in countries far away. This work will be continuing over the next three to five years – we will post updates on it here as it progresses.

We are also working on our first Conservation Management Plan, which will bring together records and planning of much of the work carried out here to conserve our telescopes and buildings, and also identify a workplan for us for the future.

HLF logoThe heritage work at Jodrell Bank is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our ‘First Light at Jodrell Bank’ project.

This summer’s bluedot festival falls on the 50th anniversary of the historic 1969 Moon Landing and we’re thrilled to announce the first phase of our mind-blowing Moon-themed line-up! Taking place 18-21 July 2019 our multi award-winning festival will bring a summer of celebrations honouring the moment humankind stepped foot on another celestial body and celebrating Jodrell Bank’s unique […]

We’re thrilled to announce that work on our highly anticipated First Light Project will begin later this month with preparatory landscaping taking place in the gardens of Jodrell Bank.

Moon Landing 50th will run throughout 2019 and is set to include a wealth of events and activities to engage our visitors and communities with this important anniversary.

Last week, we released the audio recordings from a Soviet space mission from almost exactly fifty years ago, just as the race to the Moon was approaching the finish line.

Thank You Week is back! From 3 – 9 December, we will be taking part in the Heritage Lottery Fund’s #ThanksToYou campaign by offering FREE ADMISSION to all our visitors who play the National Lottery.

Visitors to the Discovery Centre will notice that the Lovell Telescope is currently undergoing some maintenance work. A number of significant tasks are being undertaken: painting, steelwork repairs at the top of one of the supporting towers, and replacement of the original 1957 surface.

We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce today our £20.5m transformative First Light at Jodrell Bank project is set to receive a total of £16.1m from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Jodrell Bank Observatory has been chosen as the UK’s nomination for World Heritage site status in 2019, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis announced today. The Observatory, part of the University of Manchester, is home to the Grade I Listed Lovell Telescope and is a site of global importance in the history of radio astronomy. Founded in 1945, […]

We were delighted to hear on Wednesday that the Discovery Centre was awarded £4m in the Autumn Statement to go towards our First Light Project. This fantastic news provides the final piece in the jigsaw that will enable us to move ahead with our exciting and ambitious plans for the development at Jodrell Bank. Subject to the […]

From 11 – 17 December, we will be taking part in the Heritage Lottery Fund’s #ThanksToYou promotion by offering FREE ADMISSION to all visitors who play the National Lottery. We’ll be joining over 350 other venues in this nation-wide campaign to demonstrate the impact of lottery funding. -Without National Lottery players, the £7.7billion of funding awarded to more […]