18th April is World Heritage Day and we’re celebrating with a special instalment of Science Learning at Home all about the incredible scientific heritage of Jodrell Bank.

In 2019, Jodrell Bank Observatory was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in recognition of its internationally significant science, heritage and cultural impact. The observatory is 75 years old and since its early beginnings in 1945, this globally significant site has been at the heart of ground-breaking and world-leading scientific research.

The post-war emergence of the science of radio astronomy revolutionised our understanding of the universe and allowed us to see previously unimagined phenomena. Crucially, the early work at Jodrell Bank paved the way for astronomy in other wavelengths beyond visible light, such as infra-red and x-ray, helping us to ‘see the invisible’, and enabling us to learn more about the universe. Today, Jodrell Bank remains at the cutting edge of scientific research and is the only working site in the world that retains traces of the development of radio astronomy from its earliest days to the present. In fact, this is one of the reasons it was deemed by UNESCO’s international community as a site of Outstanding Universal Value.

You can learn all about Jodrell Bank’s World Heritage Site status including reading our nomination dossier and a new blog blog post on our shared heritage, as well as watching Professor Teresa Anderson’s recent Lovell Lecture on the topic.

We’ve also put together a helpful explainer on multiwavelength astronomy, along with a link to Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics’ multiwavelength sky surveys. And, for families, take part in #RainbowsOfHope and learn all about the visible light spectrum with our range of family activities.

Have fun!