Want to inspire a budding Brian Cox or Nancy Grace Roman? (Mother of the Hubble Space Telescope – check her out!). Then visit Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre for their daily telescope walking tours of the iconic Lovell Telescope. The Centre is the astronomical research centre of the University of Manchester and is a world leader is astronomical research. Jodrell Bank sits 20 miles south of Manchester, in Macclesfield, and has become a landmark of the Cheshire countryside.
The tours last around 45 minutes, during which you’ll walk around the foot of the telescope (sadly you don’t get to Party Up The World in the dish D:Ream style. Note to Jodrell Bank – I would definitely pay extra for this!). You’ll learn about the history of the Grade 1 listed telescope, find out how it works and discover more about the research it is integral to.
The Centre boasts more than just an enormous telescope though. In the Planet Pavilion you can explore planet Earth’s position and orbit with the fascinating clockwork Orrery – a working scale model of our own solar system – the largest of its kind in the world. In the Space Pavilion little hands can get busy with a huge host of activities designed to explore how the universe began.
Getting children excited about the galaxy in which their planet resides is thrilling. Share in their wonder as they try and get their head round the vastness of this crazy universe! The story of Jodrell Bank itself is inspiring on its own. It was a hugely ambitious project, conceived by Sir Bernard Lovell and completed in 1957. In its 62 years it has inspired generations of schoolchildren to pursue careers in science, engineering and medicine.
The telescope walking tours are family friendly and aimed at children 10+. They’re available on a drop in basis and free with your general admission.