75 years of Jodrell Bank

Welcome back to Science Learning at Home where, this month, we’re celebrating 75 years since the first experiment at Jodrell Bank!

Did you know that today, 14th December 2020 marks 75 years since Sir Bernard Lovell’s first experiment at Jodrell Bank? Click here to read all about it, including the extraordinary role that the annual Geminid meteor shower played in those first days. Talking of which, the Geminids are in full swing right now so if you fancy a spot of stargazing, here’s our monthly Guide to the Night Sky.

Meteor showers like the Geminids have a special place in the history of Jodrell Bank and this great blog post from August tells how Bernard Lovell spent time with J P Manning Prentice observing them. Prentice pitched up at Jodrell Bank ready for a night of observation with his very own stargazing kit comprising: a deckchair, a flying suit, a large celestial globe, a flash light, notebook and some string! With that in mind, we’d love to see your stargazing set-ups. What do you use? Find inspiration and share your stories with us here…

Alas, if it’s a cloudy night, you can always return indoors for a spot of crafting! Our Starry Starry Night activity includes templates and instructions to make and view your own constellations. And, if you’re on the look out for a Christmas gift for a budding astronomer this year, check out our Stargazer’s Gift Guide from the Jodrell Bank Shop. All proceeds are reinvested in to the Discovery Centre helping us inspire even more people with the science and stories of this special place.

We’re not the only one celebrating a 75th anniversary this year –UNESCO also reached a 75 year milestone in 2020! It certainly seems fitting for us to be sharing an anniversary as Jodrell Bank is still the UK’s latest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Celebrating and sharing our incredible heritage is a big part of our First Light Project which will include the opening of brand new gallery in 2021. Read all about it here.

Have a lovely Christmas, keep stargazing, and we’ll see you in the new year…