WHAT IS JODRELL BANK?
Jodrell Bank Observatory is the earliest radio astronomy observatory in the world that is still in existence.
It is the one remaining site that includes evidence of every stage of the post-1945 emergence of radio astronomy, and as such, has played a pivotal role in expanding our understanding of the universe.
WHAT IS RADIO ASTRONOMY?
Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies.
The discovery of radio signals in the 1930s by Karl Jansky at Bell Telephone Laboratories opened a new way for astronomers to explore the Universe by detecting radio waves emitted by a number of objects. Karl Jansky’s accidental discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation, regarded as evidence for the Big Bang theory, was made through radio astronomy.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Radio astronomy is conducted using large radio antennas referred to as radio telescopes.
Through radio astronomy, scientists were no longer limited to observing objects that were only traceable through the naked eye. They could now also study celestial objects at radio frequencies. This dramatically expanded the scope and range of objects that scientists could observe, and in the process significantly expanded our knowledge of the known universe.
JODRELL BANK TODAY
The character of Jodrell Bank Observatory has been determined by the evolution of radio astronomy.
Jodrell Bank Observatory is now the hub of the UK’s national 217-km-wide array of up to seven radio telescopes. The signals from all seven telescopes are combined at Jodrell Bank so that the array operates as if it is a single Telescope, which has a similar resolving power to the Hubble Space Telescope.