Jodrell Bank Observatory becomes World Heritage Site
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, which has been at the forefront of astronomical research for many decades, was awarded World Heritage Site status on 7th July 2019, thus becoming the UK’s 32nd World Heritage site.
Lovell Telescope, Jodrell Bank Observatory. Credit: Mike Peel; Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester.
This award is formal recognition by UNESCO’s international community that it is a site of Outstanding Universal Value.
The Observatory hosts a number of radio telescopes and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. It joins sites on the World Heritage site list which includes Stonehenge, Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China.
The Observatory opened in 1945 and is the home of the Lovell telescope, the world’s third largest steerable radio telescope. The site tracked US and Russian crafts during the space race and also pioneered radio astronomy using radio waves instead of visible light to understand the universe. The observatory has featured in BBC’s Stargazing Live series, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who.
The Observatory includes a Discovery Centre which provides a great day out for all the family. Here one can explore the wonders of the universe and learn more about the workings of the giant Lovell Telescope.