Thursday, March 29, 2012

Visiting Jodrell Bank as part of the UK National Astronomy Meeting

I'm in Manchester this week at the UK National Astronomy Meeting. As part of this, yesterday evening I went on a visit to the Jodrell Bank Observatory, with 120 other astronomers.

NAM Astronomers at JBO
It was a gorgeous spring evening, and the disk looked lovely as a contrast to the beauty of spring around it.

Jodrell Bank and a sheep

The Sun through the dish

Jodrell Bank and some daffodils

Jodell Bank and spring blossom

Jodrell Bank and a hedge of forsythia

We got to walk under the dish too. Here we are crossing the track which the telescope uses to rotate in azimuth.

Jodrell Bank azimuth track
And we stood under the dead centre of the dish.

Looking up at the base of Jodrell Bank

That's me directly under the centre of the dish
The sky was clear, and the crescent Moon was prominent, see if you can spot it through the dish below.

Required picture of me with the dish

We also got a tour of the control room - and the set of BBC Stargazing LIVE of course. 

And we're astronomers, so we like the details - this is some of the computers which run Jodrell Bank when it works with the eMerlin network of UK radio telescopes.

It need as "Totally Accurate Clock" to do this (actually that's totally true).

Our visit ended with a dinner in the cafe. We sat outside with the above view of the sky, and I saw Venus in the daytime finally. :) I think it's in the below image, but I haven't spotted it yet!

Moon and Venus in daytime, 28th March 2012

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