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Astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell Dies At 98

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

Space 22

An anonymous reader writes "Sir Bernard Lovell, the founder of the Jodrell Bank Observatory and namesake of the Lovell telescope has died at the age of 98. The Mark 1 telescope, as it was known in the '60s, was the only western telescope that could track the early Russian moon probes, which ensured its debts were paid off. However, the telescope is more famous for radio astronomy, including pulsar research, hydrogen line studies of the galaxy, and much more as other telescopes joined it in the Merlin network."

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Ad astra (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910505)

RIP, Sir Bernard.

Re:Ad astra (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910671)

Oh give it a rest you fucking prick.

Re:Ad astra (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910873)


Re:Ad astra (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#40911113)

He's clearly scolding himself for being a fucking prick. Some people do it in front of a mirror, others, as you see, talk to themselves on the Internet.

Key figure in radio astronomy (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910567)

If you're interested in the early history and technology of radio astronomy, read his book "Out of the Zenith." Good stuff!

Still looking for Planet X (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910595)

Source of the shaving cream atom.

Why must people die? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910659)

As I get older, they get to be people that I remember and am familiar with more and more, rather than just a random name from a bygone era. What a crappy world. At least he almost made the century mark.

SBL (5, Interesting)

Vanders (110092) | about 2 years ago | (#40910789)

I'm proud to say I attended the Sir Bernard Lovell School in Oldland Common, where he was born. Sadly I suspect that the majority of students attending these days won't know who Sir Bernard Lovell is or what he did, which is a shame.

Re:SBL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40919367)

He went to my old school (Kingswood Grammar School while he was there. It's name has changed since then). I remember him being mentioned once in an assembly at school, so doubt that many students there would have known who he was either. Shame.

just think (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#40911027)

Without him and the generation of astronomers he inspired, there'd be so much more about this universe to learn.

Re:just think (3, Interesting)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | about 2 years ago | (#40913623)

Actually thanks to him, there is still so much more to learn that we don't know. Thanks to him, our view of the heavens surpassed the visible spectrum and we have so much more to observe.

It is said that education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance. With every discovery we only uncover a small part of the world, but at the same time shows how much is still yet to be known.

RIP Sir Bernard Lowell.

P.S. If it is any comfort it is nice to know he died peacefully, instead of what could have happened :

Things to see before you die (5, Interesting)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 2 years ago | (#40911111)

Mark 1 telescope is probably one of those things you must see before you die. Lovell's contributions to astronomy and science are hard to measure. Especially in early 40s and 50s all of this was cutting edge science. He is counted among the pioneers like Jansky,

Re:Things to see before you die (1)

mlush (620447) | about 2 years ago | (#40917571)

Part of the gun turret mechanisms from the battleships HMS Revenge and Royal Sovereign were reused in the motor system for the telescope. Ob wikipedia []

R.I.P. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40913039)

I'm glad that he got to see the Mars rover landing of Curiosity.

God speed o/

get your facts straight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40914527)

Percival Lawrence Lowell (March 13, 1855 – November 12, 1916)
wrt. 2nd of 2.

I see that there is little Slashdot interest.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40915643) a subject where the British led much of the early work. Interestingly, and very telling, the Wiki entry for Radio Astronomy does not mention Lovell or the Jodrell Bank telescope at all...

Re:I see that there is little Slashdot interest... (1)

Vanders (110092) | about 2 years ago | (#40915999)

It's incredibly sad, isn't it? I'm not even going to claim US bias here: out of the entire UK user base of Slashdot, you would have hoped that more than 10 or so people would have shown some interest in Sir Bernard and his work.

Re:I see that there is little Slashdot interest... (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#40916471)

Unfortunately, the UK education system(s) don't cover Lovell. Or Berners-Lee for that matter.

Re:I see that there is little Slashdot interest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40918039)

Which is explained by your whining on Slashdot rather than taking slightly longer to update the wiki?

Not criticizing, like you, just an observation.

misplaced indignation a curious thing.

Re:I see that there is little Slashdot interest... (1)

awrowe (1110817) | about 2 years ago | (#40918393)

But a terribly British thing.

Re:I see that there is little Slashdot interest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40918817)

I wrote a large amount of the 'Roger Bacon' entry, since that was my Masters topic. (interestingly, his 800th is next year - no one is celebrating it). That survived for about 6 months, and then it was overwritten by a Catholic apologist anxious to minimise his position in history....

Recently I had occasion to look at the Piltdown Man entry. You remember it - there was a period between 1912 and about 1945 when Piltdown was thought to be genuine, and the Australopithecus discoveries were suppressed by the paleontological establishment. About 30 years of possible advance were lost. The entry says little about that under the 'Impact' heading - in fact it says that we must say there was little or no impact, because creationists use this incident to show that scientists CAN be wrong. The rest of the 'Impact' heading is given over to a feminist diatribe complaining that 'Piltdown Man' should not be called 'Man'. I corrected some of the worst distortions, and they were replaced within a day.

There is no point updating a Wiki if it simply becomes a blog for activist views. I think that there is more point 'whining' about this on other blogs so that more people become aware of it....

Re:I see that there is little Slashdot interest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40929141)

OK. I'm British too. Don't moan: educate and inspire! He did.

Here's his obit from the BBC website (it's not bad):

Here's the embedded link to his Reith lecture "The Individual and the Universe", deliver in 1958:

I used to drive round the Jodrell Bank area and it's a bloody impressive piece of engineering in and of itself, let alone the fact that it's still doing useful work in the 21st century. How many other scientific instruments from that period are useful? Can anyone else name even one?

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