Britain's famous radio telescope observatory, Jodrell Bank, was named Thursday as the British government's nomination for a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The observatory in the county of Cheshire, dominated by the iconic Lovell Telescope, is run by the University of Manchester.
The Observatory, which has just celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the iconic Lovell Telescope, and has recently announced new listed buildings, is now preparing the papers for nomination, which will be submitted to UNESCO in January 2018. The 76m long Lovell (Mark I) telescope was the largest steerable dish in the world when it was completed in the year 1957.
'The Lovell Telescope in particular has become an icon for science and engineering, and we look forward to showcasing the rich scientific heritage of this and the wider site on an worldwide stage'.
A World Heritage Site is a place (area or a landmark) that has been recognized by the UNESCO as an important site for collective interests of humanity. Sir Lovell was a radio astronomer and was keen to probe cosmic rays after completion of his work on radar during the WWII. Professor Teresa Anderson, director of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, informed that they have been preparing the case for the World Heritage Site inscription for Jodrell Bank Observatory for some years now, so it's absolutely fantastic to reach this milestone.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, said: "As an institution that is known for its internationally leading research, it is very fitting that our rich heritage in science has received such acclaim". This observatory also tracked the launch of world's first satellite Sputnik into space in 1957. Currently, there are 31 sites in the United Kingdom (including those in overseas territories) that have been listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A project to make a gallery narrating the story of radio astronomy is also in progress.
More than 185,000 people visit Jodrell Bank's Discovery Centre each year, including 26,000 school pupils on educational visits.