The famous Jodrell Bank Observatory submitted an application to UNESCO to be awarded the prestigious accolade of becoming a world heritage site. And according to latest reports, UNESCO has accepted its candidature for World Heritage status. And if selected, the Jodrell Bank Observatory will join the ranks of Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Grand Canyon, Machu Pichu, etc.
The Jodrell Bank Observatory present in Cheshire is the home to the famous Lovell Telescope. The 76m long Lovell (Mark I) telescope was the largest steerable dish in the world when it was completed in the year 1957. Professor Teresa Anderson, director of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, informed that they have been preparing the case for the World Heritage Site inscription for Jodrell Bank Observatory for some years now, so it’s absolutely fantastic to reach this milestone. The Lovell Telescope, in particular, has become an icon for science and engineering, and they are looking forward to showcasing the rich scientific heritage of this and the wider site on an international stage.
Actually, the observatory, which opened in 1945, played a vital role in the research of meteors and cosmic rays and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age. The employees of the Observatory are working day and night to repair and beautify the observatory on time before January 2018, and also scientists are working on a new project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project consists of developing a visitor exhibition comprising of the history of Radio Astronomy. Actually, the Lovell telescope is named after Sir Bernard Lovell, who was the leader of the team that built the telescope.
The 60-year-old telescope tracked the flight of Soviet Union’s Sputnik-1, which was the first ever man-made satellite to travel to space. Every year around 2 lakh visitors come to the Discovery Centre to see the famous site. UNESCO awards the World Heritage site to those places whose cultural and physical significance is considered to be of “Outstanding Universal Value.”