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The Jodrell Bank Observatory () – originally the Jodrell Bank Experimental Station and from 1966 to 1999, the Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories – hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The observatory was established in 1945 by Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the University of Manchester to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar during the Second World War. It has since played an important role in the research of meteoroids, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age. The managing director of the observatory is Professor Simon Garrington.
The main telescope at the observatory is the Lovell Telescope. Its diameter of 250 ft (76 m) makes it the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. There are three other active telescopes at the observatory; the Mark II, and 42 ft (13 m) and 7 m diameter radio telescopes. Jodrell Bank Observatory is the base of the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN), a National Facility run by the University of Manchester on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
The Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and an arboretum, are in the civil parish of Lower Withington and the Lovell Telescope and the observatory are in Goostrey civil parish, near Goostrey and Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, North West England. The observatory is reached from the A535. The Crewe to Manchester Line passes right by the site, and Goostrey station is a short distance away. On 7 July 2019, the observatory became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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