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"Sky at Night" comes to Jodrell Bank Observatory

10th September 2002

Sir Patrick Moor and Professor Andrew Lyne
Sir Patrick Moor and Professor Andrew Lyne

Sir Patrick Moore visited the Jodrell Bank Observatory in early August to make two programmes about the work of the observatory to be broadcast in September and November. He was welcomed by its Director, Professor Andrew Lyne who, in the September Sky at Night, tells the story of work done at the observatory relating to Pulsars - the spinning remnants of massive stellar explosions. Other staff members will describe the current upgrade of the Lovell Telescope, the discovery of Gravitational Lenses and the work done by MERLIN, the array of antennas stretching across the UK.

In the second programme, to be broadcast in November, the future of Radio Astronomy and the Observatory will be covered. Professor Phil Diamond, Director of the National Facility that operates MERLIN, will tell of the major upgrade now underway to link the 7 telescopes of the array with Optical Fibres. This will greatly increase the data that can be combined to form the radio images and so increase MERLIN's sensitivity by over 20 times. Professor Peter Wilkinson will discuss the Square Kilometer Array, a major international effort for the future, and the Observatory's contribution to the Planck Spacecraft, to be launched in 2007 to study the origin and evolution of the Universe, will be described.