Radio Telescopes

Jodrell Bank is famous for its landmark radio telescopes. These telescopes detect radio waves emitted by astronomical sources in the sky.

There are 4 radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank. These are The Lovell, Mark II, 42ft, and 7m Telescopes. But Jodrell Bank is also home to the e-MERLIN network, an array of seven radio telescopes across the UK. These includes those at Jodrell Bank, along with telescopes at Pickmere, Darnhall, Knockin, Defford and Cambridge.

Lovell Telescope

The Lovell telescope, with its 76 metre diameter reflecting surface, has stood over the Cheshire plain since construction was completed in 1957.

Since then, the telescope has been upgraded several times and it remains one of the biggest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world, spending most of its time investigating cosmic phenomena which were undreamed of when it was conceived.

It was given a Heritage Grade I listing in 1988.

Mark II

The Mark II telescope, completed in 1964, has a parabolic reflecting surface with an elliptical outline to increase the collecting area over a circular aperture.

It is approximately 25m in diameter and was the first telescope of any type in the world to be controlled by a digital computer. In 1987 new aluminium panels were mounted on the original steel surface and have an RMS surface accuracy of around 1/3 mm.

In 2017 it was given a Heritage Grade I listing.

7m Telescope

Originally used at the Woomera Rocket Testing Range in Australia, the 7-metre telescope is now used by undergraduates on degree courses at The University of Manchester.

They use it to study emission from neutral atomic hydrogen in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies and to observe pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars.