I’ve been in Chester this week at the ACRE Board meeting. So this story seemed particularly relevant. Interestingly this rural location was chosen because the area was free from radio interference. Such interference in the form good broadband connectivity is now highly desirable, not just here but across Rural England more widely!

Jodrell Bank Observatory, which has played a leading role in astronomical research since 1945, has been added to the Unesco World Heritage List.

The site in Cheshire has contributed to the study of meteors and the moon, the discovery of quasars, quantum optics, and the tracking of spacecraft.

It is probably best known for the landmark Lovell Telescope, a steerable 250ft radio dish which was the largest in the world when it was built in 1957.

Weighing 3,200 tonnes, it can be seen for miles around, it is still the third-largest of its kind and has appeared in Doctor Who and Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Jodrell Bank, which is part of the University of Manchester, joins historic international sites such as Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal on the Unesco world heritage list.

Announcing the decision, Unesco said: “Located in a rural area of northwest England, free from radio interference, Jodrell Bank is one of the world’s leading radio astronomy observatories. This exceptional technological ensemble illustrates the transition from traditional optical astronomy to radio astronomy (1940s to 1960s), which led to radical changes in the understanding of the universe.”

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