Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jodrell Bank

You may have seen the recent news that e-MERLIN funding for Jodrell back likely to be withdrawn with the following possible consequences:
- Astronomers would be unable to exploit an £8M upgrade (due to be completed in 2009) which will make e-MERLIN the world’s most powerful array of radio telescopes.
- The UK will lose its major observational capability in radio astronomy, a subject which UK astronomers pioneered more than 50 years ago and in which we still play a leading role.
- The UK will no longer participate in European and global networks of large radio telescopes.
- The UK will risk losing its world-leading role in this area of science and innovation.
- At least six radio telescopes will be closed down (the Mark II at Jodrell Bank and the telescopes at Pickmere, Darnhall, Knockin, Defford and Cambridge).
- Since e-MERLIN is the main activity at Jodrell Bank Observatory, it would place a serious question mark over the sustainability of the observatory as a site for active scientific observations.

I won't mention the live heritage nature of that site..If you wish to register your objection to this proposal this might well be a good place to visit!
I find it hard to believe that the government would allow this to happen in view of the iconic nature of the site but the proposal and intention appears to be there!

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