Heritage Lecture Series 2024

Prof. Simon Garrington, Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory and director of the e-MERLIN VLBI National Facility

Prof. Simon Garrington: Lovell’s Radar – Missiles and Space Debris

14 Nov, 2024

£10 – £12

19:30 – 21:00

A brand-new series of Heritage Lectures in our Space Dome. Explore the full lecture programme HERE.

Discover hidden histories and surprising stories as leading scientists, archivists and historians reveal Jodrell Bank’s 80-year tale of intrigue, resolve and radio waves.

The iconic Lovell Radio Telescope, built to study radio waves from space, has been in constant use by the University of Manchester for scientific research. However, did you know that in the early 60s during the Cold War, (including the Cuban Missile Crisis), the RAF secretly added radar capabilities to it?

At the time, it was Britain’s only such defence to warn of ballistic missiles aimed at the UK. Professor Garrington will unravel this story using primary records from the National Archives and Jodrell Bank itself. Moving into the modern day, with thousands of satellites orbiting Earth, listen on as he discusses modern experiments using radio telescopes to study and image space debris with bi-static radar.

*to book the October & November lectures, press ‘Book Now’ and then click through the calendar to the correct month.


About Professor Simon Garrington

Professor Simon Garrington is Associate Director for Jodrell Bank Observatory, and Director of the e-MERLIN & VLBI National Facility based at Jodrell Bank. His research has included many areas of astrophysics, including radio galaxies and quasars, radio stars, and high precision astrometry to define fundamental celestial reference frames.

He led the e-MERLIN project from its inception: this connects 6 large radio telescopes spread across the UK via a dedicated optical fibre network to a central correlator at Jodrell Bank, and is used by hundreds of scientists in the UK and internationally for high resolution radio astronomy.


Pre-book your meal at our First Light Café in our stunning new building. Open from 18:00 – 19:15 with the last sitting at 18:50. 


Pie, Mash, Peas & Gravy    £9.95

High quality pies from H.M. Pasties was set up to ‘bring out the good inside’ by employing ex-offenders to make and sell handmade pasties and pies. The social enterprise was born in 2018 with support from the Big Lottery Fund, Forward Trust and the Santander Foundation.

Pie choices:

  • Cheese & Onion Pie Packed with gooey mature cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, and potato (v, halal) 2022 SILVER: The British Pie Awards
  • Steak & Stout Flank steak, bathed in Guinness stout for 24 hours, braised and slow-cooked with carrots, garlic, onions, bay leaf, and thyme, with a rich stout gravy
  • Aloo Saag Spinach and sweet potato, cooked in our own blend of spices with a spicy tomato curry sauce (v, vegan, halal)