Not Again

Well it seems that The Times is at it again; hardly a year goes by without them insisting that Jodrell Bank is is about to shut down. In their final paragraph, in a sentence about the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the article states that the ageing (their wording) Lovell telescope will stop being used for science in 2009. The implication is that this is because it will not be able to compete with the SKA. What is not mentioned is the fact that if the SKA ends up in western Australia - which is probably the most likely place although South Africa and China are also trying to get it - it will be positioned at about 30 degrees south and therefore will not have the same sky coverage as telescopes in the northern hemisphere such as the Lovell telescope (53° N) or Greenbank telescope(38° N).

This was really a footnote to an article about the proposed Overwhelmingly Large Telescope (OWL); the 100m optical telescope proposed by the European Southern Observatory. My final gripe is that the first sentence of the story is factually incorrect it claims that OWL will be the world's largest telescope when in fact the existing Greenbank Radio Telescope is 100 by 110 metres.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 23rd Nov 2003 (23:33 UTC) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]