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 and in 2019 it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in recognition of its global significance.

2020 marks 75 years since Sir Bernard Lovell first began scanning the skies from Jodrell Bank and we’re working on our brand new First Light Project, a stunning building in which we can begin to engage the public with the pioneering history of this incredible site.

The first scientific experiment at Jodrell Bank took place 75 years ago; from an army radar trailer, on a damp and icy Friday afternoon on the 14th December 1945.

We’re thrilled to announce today that we have received £125,600 from the Culture Recovery Fund to support us through the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A major construction milestone was reached last week as our new First Light Pavilion saw its impressive concrete dome roof installed.

Meteor showers, and in particular the August Perseids, have a special place in the history of Jodrell Bank. The 1946 shower marked the start of Jodrell Bank becoming an astronomical observatory, and Bernard Lovell becoming an astronomer.

Sir Bernard Lovell’s ‘giant paraboloid’ was originally proposed in 1951 and complete by 1957. Why did it take so long to build?

Lovell wartime distinction is less well known that his work in radio astronomy, but as the UK celebrates VE Day, we’re highlighting Lovell’s work developing the H2S airborne radar system, which greatly improved the Royal Air Force’s bombing accuracy and proved decisive in the outcome of the second world war.

World War II rationing, which continued in some form until 1954, impacted the entire country – housewives and radio astronomers alike….

18th April is World Heritage Day, and as the UK’s newest World Heritage Site, this is a good opportunity for us to reflect on our new status. This year’s theme is Shared Heritage.

27 March, 2020

From the Archives…

A key part of our First Light Project is about bringing the story of Jodrell Bank to life through our archives. In this series, we share what we’ve discovered…

As part of developing our heritage skills and practices the Engagement Team headed into the city to spend a day at the inspiring John Rylands Library