This page aims to list telescopes that are at, have been at, were run by or were constructed by Jodrell Bank Observatory , Cheshire, England, along with partial timelines of both the history of the telescopes and the science done by them. It is a work in progress, and hence is currently incomplete.
It focuses mostly on the technical milestones and major observations made with the telescopes. A complete list of all of the observations made with the telescope would be a) impossible to nail down completely, b) very long, and probably c) not very interesting to most people.
|1948||Genesis of the idea of a transit telescope-like instrument that could be pointed at any point of the sky.|
|8 September 1949||Lovell meets Husband for the first time.|
|1950||Gun turret racks from Royal Sovereign and Revenge purchased.|
|20 March 1951||Application for telescope submitted (inc. Blue Book).|
|March 1952||Funding approved (£335,000 from DSIR and the Nuffield Foundation).|
|3 September 1952||Construction began.|
|21 May 1953||Foundation piles completed.|
|February 1954||Lovell discusses with the Air Ministry about funding for improving the accuracy of the dish so that it could be used on centimeter wavelengths, for research at these wavelengths for the Ministry, as well as "other purposes". Funding not made available, but plans already put in place for the improvements.|
|Mid-March 1954||double railway track completed.|
|6 May 1954||Focus access tower concept scrapped (was going to enable access to the focus when the dish was inverted; became unnecessary as much of the equipment was placed at the base of the telescope).|
|11 May 1954||Central pivot delivered.|
|23 January 1955||Realisation that oscillations could be set up in the telescope by wind, which could destroy the telescope at mean wind speeds of 40 mph. Ultimately solved by adding a "bicycle wheel" to the telescope.|
|Mid-April 1955||Final bogie delivered to site.|
|Support structure for the bowl's surface completed.|
|3 February 1957||Telescope moves for the first time (by an inch!)|
|11 April 1957||Control console arrived and was wired up.|
|12 June 1957||Telescope moves azimuthally under power for the first time.|
|20 June 1957||Bowl tilted under power for the first time.|
|End of July 1957||Telescope surface finished.|
|2 August 1957||First recording/light (160MHz, bowl at the zenith, looked across the plane of the Milky Way).|
|9 October 1957||Telescope is remotely controlled from the control room for the first time.|
| 12 October 1957|
(just before midnight)
|Tracked the carrier rocket of Sputnik 1.|
| 16 November 1957|
(just after midnight)
|Produced a radio echo from the carrier rocket of Sputnik 2. (NB: ref says October, but that doesn't fit into timeline - rocket was launched 2 November 1947)|
|11-13 October 1958||Tracked Pioneer 1|
|Autumn 1958||Telescope used to bounce "Hellos" off the Moon, for a demonstration in Lovell's third Reith Lecture.|
|December 1958||Tracked Pioneer 3|
|March 1959||Tracked Pioneer 4, the first U.S. manmade "planet".|
|13-14 September 1959||Tracked Lunik II as it hit the moon. The tracking provided proof that the probe did indeed hit the moon - the effect of the moon's gravity on the probe could be seen.|
|September 1959||Used as a radar with 50kW of transmitted power, aimed at Venus to measure the Earth-Venus distance.|
|4 October 1959||Tracked Lunik 3, the first probe to the far side of the moon.|
|11 March 1960||Tracked the Pioneer V probe. Also sent commands (including the one to separate the probe from its carrier rocket, and the ones to turn on the more powerful transmitter when the probe was 8 million miles away) and received data from the probe.|
|14 March 1960||Sets a new space record for the furthest contact with a space probe - Pioneer V at a distance of 407,000 miles.|
|25 May 1960||Lord Nuffield pays off the remaining debt on the telescope; site renamed to "The Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories, Jodrell Bank".|
|26 June 1960||Last contact with Pioneer V, at a distance of over 22.4 million miles or 36.2 million kilometers.|
|April 1961||A radar echo from Venus is achieved using the telescope while the planet is at a close approach, confirming measurements of the distance of the planet made by american telescopes.|
|27 April, 19-20 May 1961||Telescope possibly detected signals from a russian satellite en route to Venus (Vinera 1) that was launched on 12 February. However, it was not possible to confirm the origin of the signals.|
|1962-3||Tracked Mars 1|
| April 1962 to|
|Telescope on standby for "Project Verify" (also known by the codewords "Lothario" and "Changlin"); during strategic alerts, a 'pulse transmitter, receiver and display equipment' could be connected to the telescope to scan known launch sites for indications of launches of ICBMs and/or IRBMs.|
|October 1962||Telescope discretely turned towards the Iron Curtain during the Cuban Missile Crisis to provide a few minute's warning of any missiles that might have been launched then. (NB: ref has wrong year(?))|
|December 1962||Tracked and received data from Mariner 2.|
|Febrary/March 1963||Telescope transmitted signals via the moon and Echo II, a NASA balloon satellite at 750km altitude, to the Zimenki Observatory in the USSR. Some (most?) of the signals were sent from the USA to the USSR via Jodrell Bank.|
|1964||Telescope "discovers that OH emissions from star-forming regions and giant stars are the first celestial masers".|
|February 1966||Tracked Luna 9, a Russian probe that soft-landed on the moon. Also received imagery of the moon's surface from the probe - releasing it before the Russians did (it had been broadcast using a standard newspaper picture transmission protocol, meaning that a machine borrowed from the Daily Express could be used to decode it).|
|April 1966||Tracked Luna 10, a russian satellite put into orbit around the Moon.|
|18 October 1967||Receives signals from / tracks Venera 4, a Russian probe to Venus.|
|1968||Took part in the first transatlantic interferometer experiment; other telescopes were at Algonquin and Penticton in Canada.|
|1968||Observed the coordinates of the recently-discovered pulsar, confirming its existence and investigating the dispersion measure. Also used to make the first detection of polarization of the pulsar's radiation. This marked the start of a substantial amount of work investigating pulsars at Jodrell, which is still ongoing.|
|8 July 1968||Funding announced by the S.R.C. to upgrade and repair the telescope to the Mark IA.|
|September 1968||Tracks Zond 5, a Russian probe that was launched at the moon, around which it sling-shotted before returning to Earth.|
| September 1968|
to February 1969
|Phase 1 of the Mark IA upgrade added an inner track.|
|1969||First used in very long baseline interferometry with the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico.|
|July 1969||Tracked Luna 15. The 50ft telescope was used at the same time to track Apollo 11.|
|September-November 1969||Phase 2 of the Mark IA upgrade relaid the railway track, which had been decaying and sinking over the previous years; added four bogies on the inner track and their steelwork, and overhauled the existing bogies on the outer track. Upthrust units for the inner bogies were ordered during Phase 2, but not fitted until 1970.|
|14 August 1970||Mark I telescope put to the zenith for the final time; work on the refurbishment to Mark IA begins.|
| August 1970|
to November 1971
|Phase 3 of the Mark IA upgrade saw the addition of a new bowl surface in front of the old surface; fatigue cracks in the cones connecting the bowl to the towers were repaired; the central antenna was strengthened, and the central "bicycle wheel" support was added, as well as a new computer control system.|
|1971||The Argus 100 computer previously used on the Mark II is used to replace the analogue control system on the Mark IA.|
|1971||Lovell Telescope tracks the Mars 2 and Mars 3 space probes (amidst the upgrade of the telescope to the Mark IA)|
|14 November 1971||Mark IA upgrade complete.|
|1972-73||Telescope used for "a detailed survey of the radio sources in a limited area of the sky ... up to the sensitivity limit of the instrument". Among the objects catalogued was the first gravitational lens, which was confirmed optically in 1979.|
|16 July 1974||Lovell Telescope was handed back to the University. Due to increases in the cost of steel during the upgrade, the final amount for the upgrade was £664,793.07.|
|2 January 1976||High winds (>90mph) almost destroy telescope - literally within half an inch of collapsing. Two bracing girders were added to the towers to prevent something similar happening again.|
|1980||First used in MERLIN|
|1986||Discovers first pulsar in a globular cluster.|
|1987||Renamed to Lovell Telescope after 30 years of operation.|
|1988||Becomes a Grade 1 listed building.|
|~1992||(~15 years ago from 2007) Spontaneous high winds of over 100mph hit the telescope, lifting the whole of the telescope about 6 inches off the ground and blowing several panels out from the towers. Less than an hour before, the winds had been around 20mph.|
|1993||Searches for Mars Observer.|
|1998||Telescope discovers an object that later turns out to be the first Einstein ring to be detected.|
|1998-end 2003||Telescope used as a follow-up instrument for possible SETI detections made at Aricibo. No signals were detected.|
|4 February 2000||Searches for Mars Polar Lander.|
|2001/2||New surface put on telescope to replace the 1970s one, which was badly corroded. Completed November 2002. Officially reopened April 2003. Funded by the Wellcome Trust and PPARC.|
| 25-26 December 2003|
|Searches for Beagle II on Christmas Day 2004, without success Search continues in later months with a specially-tuned receiver. However, Beagle 2 was not detected.|
|September 2006||The results of three years of observing a double pulsar with the Lovell telescope, as well as with Parkes and GBT, are announced - confirming that the general theory of relativity is accurate to 99.5%.|
|2007||A (metal) tyre on one of the telescope's wheels cracks. A replacement was manufactured, and was installed on 4 May 2007, after ~ 2 months of downtime. This was the first time this happened; two spares were ordered in case it happens again (which it is expected to in ~ 1 year).|
|15-17 June 2007||Jodrell celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first movements of the telescope with a "First Move Literary Festival", which includes using the Lovell telescope to receive poems that have been bounced off the moon.|
- Also see the Wikipedia article "Mark II"
Built on site of the Transit Telescope. Used as part of MERLIN and VLBI. For technical information, see Lovell (1964).
- 19 December 1960 - application for funding for the telescope. Was originally intended as a prototype for a much larger (1000ft) telescope that was never constructed.
- 18 December 1961 - funding approved. Apart from the astronomical goals of the telescope, an additional factor may have been its use to track space probes emitting with a higher frequency (3-5GHz), which couldn't be picked up with the Mark I.
- Summer 1964 - First Light.
- 1970s - Used in conjunction with the Mark III to develop phase stable long baseline interferometers.
- 1971 - Controller computer upgraded from Argus 104 to Argus 400
- 1972-3 - Used as an interferometer with the Lovell Telescope to do a survey of radio sources, amongst which was the first gravitational lens.
- 1974 - proposal to upgrade the Mark II to a Mark IIA was put forward, which would have been to a 100ft circular aperture which could have been used on wavelengths down to 6mm. Upgrade was never approved.
- 1986/7 - Given a new surface. This was partly a trial of the manufacturing techniques for the new surface of the Lovell telescope.
- Late 1990s - more compact carousel installed at the prime focus.
Originally used for tracking space probes; was purchased by Jodrell along with the 7m.
- 1982 - First Light at Jodrell
- 1982 - First Light at Jodrell. Was originally used for space tracking in Australia, the same as the 42ft.
- September 2006 - Telescope control system replaced. Was using a VAX machine. New system using system built for observations of Beagle 2 (just computer, or analogue-to-digital converter?).
Merlin (also known as MTRLI)
- Also see the Wikipedia article "MERLIN"
- Consists of the Knockin, Darnhall, Tabley/Pickmeter telescopes, plus the Defford, Mark II and Lovell Telescope (above). Also used to have the Mark III.'
- 1973 - "idea of MERLIN arose from a suggestion made to us by Henry Palmer".
- 1975 - Start of construction.
- ~1980 - First light of Knockin telescope (E-Systems VLA design) (definitely before January 1980).
- ~End of 1980 - First light of Darnhall telescope (E-Systems VLA design).
- ~End of 1980 - First light of the Tabley / Pickmetre telescope (E-Systems VLA design) 
- 6 November 1980 - first maps published.
- Late 1990s - installation of carousels on the three VLA-style telescopes.
- 1996 - Start of implementation of "frequency agility" on the Tabley / Pickmere telescope - i.e. a carousel to hold a series of receivers was installed.
- October 2000 - proposal to add an Irish 32m telescope to MERLIN. Still in planning stages.
- May 2004 - Work starts on eMerlin - linking the Merlin telescopes via optical cables.
Used as part of MERLIN.
- 1996 - new computer control system installed.
- 2002-present - Upgrade to e-VLBI, including laying optical fibres between the telescopes, new recording systems (Mark V PC-based disk-based recording computers, replacing the previous Mark IV magnetic tape recorders) and a new correlator.
Very Small Array
Located in Tenerife
- ~ 2003 - Constructed
- ~2004-2007 - Constructed the LFI (Low Frequency Instrument) of the Planck spacecraft
- 2003-4 - Constructed the OCRA-p reciever
- 2006- - Constructing the OCRA-F reciever
- 2007 - Constructing Clover (see wp:Clover (telescope)
Old radar equipment
- Autumn 1945 - 2 trailers of radar equipment + generator arrive at Manchester University. One trailer contained the transmitter, the other the receiver and CRT display, making up an army gun-laying radar.
- Early December 1945 - radar equipment and Sir Bernard Lovell arrive at Jodrell Bank.
- 14 December 1945 - radar transmitter and reciever turned on for the first time, coincidentally at the same time as the maximum in the Geminids meteor shower.
- 9-10 October 1946 - transient radio echoes received by the equipment are confirmed to come from ionized meteor trails.
- 1946 - more radar equipment obtained, along with a "Park Royal" cabin.
- 1957 (or thereabouts) - sold for scrap.
Originally a searchlight used in WW2; a series of yagis were mounted on it and used for meteor astronomy.
- 1946 - Searchlight loaned from Army
- Shortly afterwards - broadside array constructed on searchlight by Clegg,  consisting of a number of Yagi antennas.
- October 1946 - first use for astronomical observations.
- 9/10 October 1946 - used to observe the ionisation in the atmosphere caused by meteors in the Giacobinids meteor shower. When the antenna was turned by 90 degrees at the maximum of the shower, the number of detections dropped to the background level, proving that the signals were indeed from meteors.
- Shortly after this - used to determine the radiant points for meteors (echo rate is at a minimum at the radiant point, and a maximum at 90 degrees to it). 
- 25 July 1946 - solar flare observed (this receiver or others?)
- Early August 1947 - searchlight receiver, plus other receivers, used to study auroral streamers.
- The searchlight base and a concrete trench built to carry transmission lines still exists in the center of the Green at Jodrell.
- Also see the Wikipedia article "Transit Telescope"
218ft/66m wire paraboloid, focal point at the top of a tall pole that could be moved from side to side slightly - thus meaning that the telescope wasn't restricted to looking straight up. Size was determined by the position of Park Royal and the hedge of the field. For details of its construction, see .
- Autumn 1947 - First light 
- Early 1948 - polar diagram of the aerial determined by observations of a transmitter on an aircraft flying at 3,000 ft above the telescope.
- August 1950 - Used to make first detection of radio waves from the Andromeda Galaxy.
- 1962 - demolished to make way for the Mark II telescope.
50ft dish, polar axis mount. Was mainly used for lunar radar observations.
- 1962 - First Light
- Dish no longer exists, but the mount does.
Mark III (Wardle)
- Also see the Wikipedia article "Mark III (radio telescope)"
Was used as part of MERLIN. Less accurate version of the Mark II, but was transportable.
- 21 February 1961 - application for funding for the telescope, with the intention of it being used with the Mark I as an interferometer to conduct a survey of radio sources.
- 27 September 1963 - funding approved.
- 14 April 1966 - telescope accepted from contractors, after a series of long delays.
- 2003 - Scrapped.
NB: the bogies used on the telescope were originally from railway trains; they ended up in a train museum after the telescope was scrapped.
Replaced by the 42ft
- 1964 - Tracked Zond 1
- 1964 - Tracked the Ranger 6 and 7 probes.
- 1965 - Tracked Zond 2
- 1969 - Tracked the descent of the Apollo 11 lander (see Jodrell Bank stories)
- 1982 - Surface damaged by ladder (which was used to access focal point when the telescope was pointing at the horizon; was accidentally left up when the telescope was moved to point upwards, hence hit the surface), replaced by 42ft.
- Circa 1952 - small broadside array, 35 square meters in size, constructed. Used in conjunction with transit telescope as an interferometer; determined the sizes of radio-emitting nebulae (crab nebula, Cassiopeia, Puppis, Gemini and Auriga).
- 1954-7 - again used in conjunction with the transit telescope, over larger distances to observe smaller radio sources. Initially sited in what is now the visitor's car park; subsequently moved further way to get a higher angular resolution (see ref for details), up to a resolution of 12 arcseconds.
- Array put on a steerable mount and used as part of a tracking radio interferometer with the Mark I. Interferometer used to determine the 2D shape of quasars on the sky.
25ft transportable telescope
- Summer 1961 - 25ft diameter parabaloid telescope constructed by Donaldson, made of aluminium tubing, mounted on "the rotating structure of an old defence radar". Used as a steerable interferometer with the Mark I, with a resolution of 0.3 arcseconds. Used to determine the sizes of some high-redshift (0.86) quasars.
- Scrapped 2006 (? _a_ telescope of this sort of dimensions was scrapped then; was it this one?)
"originally built on top of the Shot Tower on the South Bank for the 1951 exhibition." Subsequently mounted on top of the power house.
- March 1954 - Used as a receiver in moon radar (transmission from a horizontally polarized array), in order to test if long-duration fading of the radar signal was caused by faraday rotation (it was).
- Circa 1949 - 30ft telescope.. Possibly depicted in Figure 9 of the Occasional Notes.
- 1951 - 18 inch (0.45m) reflecting (optical) telescope donated by Mr. G. T. Smith-Clarke of Coventry. Cost ~ £500 to transport, ~£1000 for a building to hold it.. Was put onto the top of a building near the Mark II / Park Royal, in a dome (marks from where the dome sat still present on top of building(?)). Newtonian telescope, so rather long. Had a dark room, filters, possibly a prism. Not used much - radio astronomers had little interest in it, and the optical astronomers at Manchester had access to better telescopes in other parts of the world. Was donated around 1971 to the Salford Astronomical Society.
- 1953 - "A unique high-gain aerial had been built, consisting of an echelon of dipoles backed by a reflecting screen tilted back at 45 degrees." Used for moon radar. Possibly depicted in Figure 6 of the Occasional Notes.
- 1955-1956 - Prototype optical intensity interferometer set up outside control room, used to measure the size of Sirius.
- 1958-1961 - three cylindrical paraboloid telescopes, each 30ftx25ft, made of aluminium wires stretched over aluminium tubular frames. Used as an interferometer with the Mark I to measure the angular sizes of radio sources. 
Other notable events
- 1961 - Lovell knighted.
- 1964 (ish) - Lovell suggests that a visitor's center is constructed.
- 1971 - Visitor's Center opened by the Duke of Devonshire.
- 1972 - Proposal by Lovell and David Valentine to create the arboretum.
- Lovell, Bernard (1968). The Story of Jodrell Bank. Oxford University Press.
- Lovell, Bernard (1973). Out of the Zenith: Jodrell Bank 1957-1970. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192176242
- Lovell, Bernard (1990). Astronomer by Chance. Macmillan, London. ISBN 0-333-55195-8
- Piper, Roger (1965). The Story of Jodrell Bank. Carousel edition, 1972, ISBN 0552540285
- Pullan, Brian and Abendstern, Michele (2000). A history of the University of Manchester 1951-1973. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0719056705
- Occasional Notes of the Royal Astronomical Society, No. 16, Volume 3, April 1954.
- Davies, J. G. et al. (1980). "The Jodrell Bank radio-linked interferometer network". Nature 288: 64-66
- Davies, J. G. (1996). "University of Manchester, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Jodrell Bank (Reports of Observatories)". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 37, p.387
- Garrett, M.A. (2004). "e-VLBI... a Wide-field Imaging Instrument with milliarcsecond Resolution & microJy Sensitivity". arXiv:astro-ph/0409021.
- Hobbs, G., et al. (2002). "Jodrell Bank Timing Astrometry". arXiv:astro-ph/0211001v1.
- Lovell, Bernard (1964). "Jodrell Bank Mark II Radio Telescope". Nature 203: 11–13.
- Rowson, B. (1963) "High resolution observations with a tracking radio interferometer". MNRAS 125: 177.
- Spinardi, G. (2006) "Science, Technology, and the Cold War: The Military Uses of the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope", Cold War History Vol. 6, No. 3, August 2006, pp. 279-300
- Szomoru, A., et al. (2004). "From truck to optical fibre: the coming-of-age of eVLBI". arXiv:astro-ph/0412686.
- Lovell, Bernard (1957). "The Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope". Nature 180: 60-62.