Last night my boyfriend took me to a lovely outdoor concert. In the day people were invited to bring their own picnics and eat it in a field under the massive Jodrell Bank telescope. We enjoyed this. There were people of all ages. One group had brought a silver candlestick for their table. There was a science fair for the kids which my boyfriend enjoyed and I even joined in, getting 1m 70 on the standing long jump and getting a staff member to feed a carniverous plant with a live daddy long legs. I did feel guilty as I watched it flailing in the dark green spiky plant beak.
Then night fell and the performance began. The dish of the telescope was illuminated and then videos accompanying the orchestra came on. It was a marvellous sight. The sound of the orchestra was quite an experience under the night sky, with the fantastic orb of the telescope reflecting coloured light on our faces.
There was even a video projected onto the face of it about Sir Lovell, the founder. The physics graduate came up with the idea after the war and they nearly ran out of money until the Sputnik rocket was released. The day after that Jodrell Bank had 35 000 visitors. When the telescope was built in 1957, it was the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope, a title it held for more than 10 years. It is so powerful that it could detect a mobile signal on Mars.
The night went out with a bang, literally, as fireworks popped and boomed in time to the Star Wars theme tune! Go next year if you can, I’d highly recommend it!