History

The Lovell Telescope

For over 50 years the giant Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank has been a familiar feature of the Cheshire landscape and an internationally renowned landmark in the world of astronomy.

Since the summer of 1957 it has been quietly probing the depths of space, a symbol of our wish to understand the universe in which we live. Even now, 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.

The Lovell Telescope is named after its creator, and the first Director of Jodrell Bank, Sir Bernard Lovell. Now 97, he lives just a few miles away and still regularly spends time in his office at the Observatory.

Since it was completed in 1957, it has stared into space, its giant dish collecting radio waves from the depths of space. When it was built it was the world’s largest radio telescope. It is still the third largest steerable radio telescope and, after several major upgrades, it is more capable than ever.

Recent achievements include our discovery of the first double pulsar. An orbiting pair of dead stars, this has provided us with the best-ever test of Einstein’s theory of gravity, General Relativity, showing that he is at least 99.95% correct!

Live from Jodrell Bank

The history for these tranmissions are unwritten… be a part of it!