Jodrell Bank Observatory [key], observatory for radio astronomy located at Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, England. Founded in 1945 on the site of a botanical experiment station, it is administered by the Univ. of Manchester. Originally known as the Jodrell Bank Experimental Station, it was officially the Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories from 1966 to 1999. The principal instrument is one of the world's largest fully steerable radio antennas, the Lovell Telescope, with an altazimuth-mounted parabolic dish 250 ft (76 m) in diameter. In addition, the facility has smaller altazimuth paraboloid and axis paraboloid antennas. Research programs include studies of galactic structure, angular sizes and structure of radio sources, polarization of radio sources, quasars, pulsars, molecules in interstellar space, and lunar radar. It is part of the MERLIN array (Multi-Element-Radio-Linked-Interferometer) that includes other radio telescopes throughout England.
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