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The Lovell Telescope became operational in the summer of 1957, just in time for the launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite. While the transmissions from Sputnik itself could easily be picked up by a household radio, the Lovell Telescope was the only telescope capable of tracking Sputnik's booster rocket by radar; it first located it just before midnight on 12 October 1957.
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The first stage of the switch-on of one of the world's most powerful stargazing systems has got under way.
Seven radio telescopes around the UK have been linked with optical fibres, allowing scientists to probe deeper into the Universe than ever before.

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The future of Jodrell Bank, one of the world's leading radio astronomy centres, is secure according to the site's owner, Manchester University.

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Jodrell Bank Observatory
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Phil Griffin crosses time and space to sing a hymn to Jodrell Bank

 There is a certain sort of romance, for the space age and its expanding horizons, and for the buccaneers of space voyaging. The Visitors Centre hums with enthusiasm for the story it has to tell. On top of the science and technology, above the roll call of Sputniks, Luniks, and Pioneer probes, is another craft entirely, the spy-craft of Le Carre and Deighton.
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The Lovell Telescope
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Lovell Telescope.kmz
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Jodrell Bank Observatory
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Astronomers based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire have for years probed the darkest mysteries of the universe. At the observatory's heart is the Lovell Telescope which tracked the world's first satellite, Sputnik 1. When it was first unveiled in 1957, the giant dish was the world's largest fully steerable telescope.
To celebrate its golden jubilee, this October,  there are plans to transform it into the world's largest cinema by projecting images of the history of space exploration onto the surface of the dish.

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Jodrell Bank has been named as the winner of the BBC's online competition to find the UK's greatest 'Unsung Landmark'. The contest asked visitors to the BBC website to choose their favourite from eight landmarks nominated by the public and selected from an earlier regional round of voting.

The Jodrell Bank Observatory is located near Goostrey, Cheshire in the north west of England, and was  established in 1945 by Dr. Bernard Lovell.
Jodrell Bank Observatory is the home of the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN), a National Facility run by the University of Manchester on behalf of PPARC.

2.30628W_53.23546N
Expand (72kb, 802 x 565)
Latitude: 53.23655 Longitude: -2.30877

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A radiotelescope at the Jodrell Bank space observatory underwent final rehearsals yesterday before it danced to the sound of the big bang.
The choreographed moves to specially composed music, incorporating the sound of the big bang picked up by the observatory live, were part of Jodrells 50th birthday celebrations.
The 250ft-wide Lovell radiotelescope was to be transformed into an enormous musical instrument last night to mark the anniversary of the day it received its first signals from space, termed first light, 50 years ago this weekend.

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