News & Events

A final resting place at Jodrell Bank Observatory for Grote Reber, a founding father of radio astronomy

24th November 2004

Grote Reber

Almost 20 years before the completion of the Lovell Telescope, Grote Reber, inspired by a chance discovery of radio radiation coming from the centre of the Milky Way, built his own 31-ft radio telescope in his back yard in Illinois. From 1937 until after the second world war, Reber was the world's only active radio astronomer and, in 1938, he used this telescope to make the first map of the radio emission from the Milky Way and also discovered the bright extra-galactic radio sources in Cygnus and Cassiopeia. Over the next half century, he extended his radio astronomy studies to very long wavelengths, whilst also pursuing research in a variety of other fields including cosmic-ray physics. His pioneering radio telescope, now a national monument, has been restored and reassembled at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank, West Virginia and can still be used for observations.

Grote Reber died in 2002, and part of his ashes have been brought to the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of Manchester where they will be placed in its control building during a ceremony to be held at 4pm on Thursday 25th November.

Ian Morison
Phone 01477 572610