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Sir Bernard Lovell 1913 - 2012

Sir Bernard Lovell OBE FRS, Emeritus Professor of Radio Astronomy, died yesterday at the age of 98. Working at the University of Manchester Sir Bernard founded Jodrell Bank Observatory at it's current site in Cheshire in 1945 to avoid interference from the city trams.

He will be remembered mostly for his work on the famous 250 foot radio telescope that now bears his name and was completed in 1957. The dish was immediately put to use tracking the Russian Sputnik 1. The huge radio telescope remained the largest steerable dish for decades and forms an iconic image when viewed from the Cheshire Plaines. Today the telescope is part of the e-MERLIN array which allows it to be used in combination with seven smaller telescopes across the country to give higher resolution images of the radio sky. Later this year Jodrell Bank will become the headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world largest telescope with antennas in South Africa and Australia.   

Photo: Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester