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Astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell passes away

Astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell passes away

THE astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell has passed away at the age of 98.

Sir Bernard was the founder of the world famous Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire where the massive Lovell Radio Telescope is based.

The facility is part of the University of Manchester where Sir Bernard had joined the Department of Physics in 1936.

Jodrell Bank quickly established its world-class reputation. Within days of its 249ft. radio telescope becoming operational in 1957, it was used to track the rocket that took the first satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit for the Russians.

Sir Bernard was a pioneer of radio astronomy. His work was to earn him his Knighthood in 1961. He had already been awarded an O.B.E. for his wartime work as a member of the team involved in developing radar technology.

Away from astronomy, Sir Bernard was also a world-renowned expert on trees as well as being a gifted musician. As a young man he had also been a keen cricketer.

Tributes to Sir Bernard were led by the Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees.

He said: “Bernard Lovell ranks as one of the great visionary leaders of science. He had the boldness and self confidence to conceive a giant radio telescope and the persistence to see it through to completion, despite the risk of bankruptcy.”

Lord Rees added: “What is even more remarkable is that, more than 50 years later, this instrument is still doing frontier science.”

To view an interview with Sir Bernard Lovell, click here.


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