The local BBC weather have started broadcasting their forecasts from locations suggested by the viewers. The first one was on Friday last week so Dianne Oxberry and the rest of the local weather team came to Jodrell. They set up their camera over on the green by the 7m telescope and shone lots of extra floodlights at the Lovell telescope so that it would show up on camera. Despite the shocking amount of light pollution, it did look very impressive (see left) although during the forecast itself you couldn't see the telescope at all as the weather map was in the way!
Quite a crowd of people gathered in the control room to watch the forecast on the TV, we all cheered when the telescope appeared!
The best bit was when the weather crew had finished. Mark, the controller that evening, had moved the telescope so that it had it's "best side" to the camera. When they had finished it had to go back to the VLBI program which had been running earlier. The really cool bit? I got to press the button! :-) The thing with radio astronomy is that you might use a telescope to look at a particular object, but someone else actually carries out the observation. This time, I pushed the button (actually it is just the "enter" key on a ancient terminal) and the moters stared up. Wow!