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Deep Space Observatories:
The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory

Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory
The 250-ft. Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory
photo by A.Holloway at the University of Manchester
Lovell Telescope, the flagship of Jodrell Bank Observatory, stands on the Cheshire Plain in the United Kingdom — part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Manchester.

The Jodrell Bank Observatory's radiotelescopes, used for teaching and research by students, astronomers and engineers, work in coordination with X-ray, optical, infrared and millimetre-wave telescopes around the world.

When the Lovell Telescope was built in 1957, it was expected to be in use about 10 years. Still going decades later, old paneling on the of the 250-ft. dish was replaced in 2003 by a high-precision surface. With that, the refurbished telescope receives signals from deep space over a four times greater frequency range, which means astronomers can undertake a broader range of astronomical observations.

For ten years after it was built, the Lovell was the world's largest fully-steerable radiotelescope. Originally called Mark 1, it was named Lovell Radio Telescope in 1987.

Even today, the Lovell is among the top radiotelescopes in the world. In addition to its use as a single instrument, the Lovell is an important node in Great Britain's Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network — MERLIN — which records high-resolution radio images that are of a quality comparable to the optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

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