Monday, 9 May 2011
A Visit to Jodrell Bank's Brand New Discovery Centre
As part of my ongoing adventures with Moorlands Radio, I was lucky enough to attend a press day at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire to have a sneak peak of their new state of the art, three million pound discovery centre before it was formally opened to the public. Bringing along my trusty pocket camcorder, I prepared to boldly go where only a couple of journalists had been invited before...
Jodrell Bank has been putting British astronomy on the map since the 1940s, but this new centre marks a series of changes to the visitor dimension of the landmark observatory. There are two new buildings, the Planet Pavilion visitor centre and the Space Pavilion live science building which houses a multitude of hands on displays and exhibits.
Whether it be printing out a 30 second feed of data collected by the telescope or initiating the sound of the big bang at the press of the button, everything has been designed to educate children young and old about the day to day operations of a working observatory as well as the cosmic phenomena it observes. I speak to the centre's director Dr Teresa Anderson and Manchester University's Dr Tim O'Brien
This is only phase one of Jodrell Bank's regeneration, there is to be a live music event in July headlined by the Flaming Lips and supported by British Sea Power and OK Go. A space themed garden will also be opening up later on in the summer.
I would like to express my thanks to all the staff at Jodrell Bank for letting me run lose through their brand new buildings repeatedly hitting the big bang button and generally getting my grubby mits on the touch screen table.
Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre website: http://www.jodrellbank.net/
Latest news from Jodrell Bank Observatory: http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/news/
Follow the observatory on twitter: @jodrellbank
Subscribe to the JodCast: http://www.jodcast.net/