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A Trip to Jodrell Bank

jodrellJodrell Bank was opened in 1945, a mere 11 years before I was born. Today I’d been at a long meeting which had finished earlier than expected and so I headed off in search of the radio telescope.

For the scientifically uninitiated, radio waves are like light but at a much longer wavelength, well beyond our ability to see as is infra-red and ultraviolet light – but all of these are used when surveying the heavens as they each have their benefits.

signJodrell Bank was in it’s time a world leader by some way – so much so that both the Americans and amazingly the Russians requested use of it during the space race! As you’ll recall the Russians were first up with Sputnik and then a dog – all of this was monitored by Jodrell Bank.

jodrell[7]Ignoring for a second the sheer size of the dish and supporting framework (which turns in any direction) there’s a great visitor’s centre with old Pathe film about the space race right from the beginning and there are a host of things for kids to play with.

It’s a kind of strange mix –on the one hand you have harmless experiments and on the other you’re exposing them to mind-blowing information on Black Holes (it’s not that long ago there was no proof they existed – just a theoretical concept – now it’s all over the place).

Anyway, assuming the weather is half decent it’s worth the £7 entrance fee – there are some gardens there as well and a cafe.

Well worth a trip.


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