Friday, 14 April 2017

Visit to Jodrell Bank

On a rather cool and cloudy Good Friday we decided to pay a visit to Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. Jodrell Bank has home to the Lovell telescope, one of the biggest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world. We took Emma's boyfriend and his brother along with us as well.

I haven't been to Jodrell Bank for over 25 years and it was only because Matthew had been on a school trip there recently and had really enjoyed it, that we decided to go as a family. I will admit I am not into science at all and the last time I went I remember being slightly bored by it all. This time was different however, maybe it is an age thing or maybe I have a slight interest but I quite enjoyed the visit. Things had certainly changed since I was last there. Jodrell Bank is a lot more interactive than I recall and I seemed to understand things more. I especially enjoyed the show about black holes and there were definitely a couple of future astrophysicists amongst the children there as they were asking and answering questions that I did not have a clue about. 

Unfortunately the Lovell telescope did not move as apparently  something had broken on the mechanisms so it was only in the upright position. Apparently it take 5 years to clean and paint and they use hoses to clean.

In the Space pavilion there was lots of information about space and the Big Bang but I think the thing everyone enjoyed most was the thermal imaging camera. I would also say that scientists are not always the most imaginative of people when it comes to naming things as one of the telescope facilities in Chile was just called Very Large Telescope, which made me smile.
(you can tell we all had cold noses)

Jodrell Bank are developing the gardens and even though it was early there were still signs of life and no matter where you went there was always that spectacular telescope in the distance.

We spent about 4 hours visiting the site and although we took packed lunches with us there is a cafe selling hot and cold food on site. I thought the admission prices were reasonable as we bought a family ticket and two student concessions. 

Although I did enjoy the day I think it will be a good few years until I go back as I am more into history than science and would rather see the inside of a grand old house than a radio telescope which produces stunning images.