Jodrell Bank launches new exhibition

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17 Feb 2014

The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is launching a brand new exhibition in time for the February half-term.

Big Telescopes, Big Science!, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s ‘Science in Society’ programme and built by Science Projects, has hands-on activities showing how telescopes work and the principles that underlie their operation.

In particular, it has a unique set of exhibits that show how many smaller telescopes can work together in an ‘array’ to act as one large telescope.

The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank was a pioneer of this technique from the 1950s and today hosts the UK’s national array of radio telescopes (eMERLIN), which is overseen from the Control Building at the Observatory.

The exhibit tells the story of the early days of work on combining telescopes around Jodrell Bank and moves through to look at today’s massive arrays of telescopes spread across countries, continents and even out in space.

Dr Teresa Anderson, Director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, said: “We’re delighted to have this exhibition, which shows people about the ongoing science carried out by scientists here at Jodrell Bank and across the world. It really fills the main gap in our original exhibition and we think that people will really enjoy it.”

Professor Tim O’Brien, Associate Director of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, added: “Our research here is far-reaching and often people don’t have a chance to appreciate the scope, in terms both of the technology and the huge level of international collaboration that takes place between scientists.”

The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is open from 10am to 5pm every day during February half-term. As well as the new indoor exhibition, the Centre will also be unveiling new outdoor hands-on interactive exhibits.

The ticket price also includes free entry into one of its Science Shows and lunchtime ‘Meet the Expert’ sessions.


Notes for editors

The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is one of the University of Manchester's cultural assets and was awarded Cheshire Tourism Attraction of the Year in 2012. Alongside its gallery spaces, it has a thriving curriculum-linked education programme and an award-winning cafe. The Jodrell Bank Observatory is part of the University of Manchester's School of Physics and Astronomy and operates e-MERLIN, the UK's national radio astronomy facility. Jodrell Bank is a world leader in radio astronomy-related research and technology development but also carries out research across the electromagnetic spectrum and in theoretical topics. For more details visit

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of the UK’s seven publicly funded Research Councils, responsible for supporting, co-ordinating and promoting research, innovation and skills development in seven distinct fields. Its research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale.

From cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen-powered cars, energy generation to accident-scene emergency care, its impact is felt within and beyond the UK in many aspects of daily life. To sustain the UK’s position as one of the world’s leading research nations, it maintains a focus on research excellence and leadership. This creates an immediate impact on skills and training, and by pushing the boundaries of science and technology, supports the growth of a high-technology UK economy. For more details visit:

Science Projects is one of the UK's leading designers and builders of interactive exhibits and aims to 'take science to the public'. Their work can be seen not only at Jodrell Bank but in science centres, museums and galleries across the UK and worldwide. For more details visit:  

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