The esoteric details of how stars form and what gravitational lensing can tell us about Einstein's theories may not seem the stuff of impassioned public protest, but when the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank was threatened with closure last year, there was a national outcry. Now the revered observatory is about to begin a new era of exploration.
It now operates in concert with six other radio telescopes across central England -- the so-called Merlin array. It was an upgrade to this system that was threatened by funding cuts, putting the future of Jodrell Bank on the line. But after the outpouring of public support helped revive the plans, that upgrade, called e-Merlin, is now nearing completion and is due for first light early this year.
Full story from The Guardian.
Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics website.