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Jodrell Bank construction

Jodrell Bank logbooks

In partnership with the School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester Library has recently digitised the logbooks for the pioneering Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO).

Hosted by Manchester eScholar, otherwise unavailable primary data is now immediately and freely accessible to scientific researchers around the world.

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About the project

Details of the instrumentation configuration of the telescopes at the Jodrell Bank are recorded in several hand-written logbooks, which cannot be removed from the site in case of damage/loss. These cover the entire period of pulsar research, with the first of the logbooks even pre-dating the existence of the term 'pulsar'.

As Jodrell Bank continues to play an essential role in global pulsar research and acts as a lynchpin of the UK's e-MERLIN network, ready access to the information contained in these logbooks is invaluable for scientists who do not operate on site.

As one of the 5 founder members of the European Very Large Baseline Interferometry Network (EVN) improving access to the JBO logs for partner institutions in Germany, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands will be most welcome and allow our collaborators to work on high-precision corrections to their data.

Commencing from 1968, this series of digital surrogates will greatly assist in assessing the contribution of instrumentation effects to the apparent red noise in timing residuals.

It is hoped that the wider circulation of the data will facilitate the possibility of adding observations from this time to the ongoing LEAP (Large European Array for Pulsars) search for gravitational waves and ensure the continued contribution of the Observatory to international projects, both current and planned.

This project complements the Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO) Archive housed at the University of Manchester Library. Deposited by Sir Bernard Lovell (1913-2012) and Heralded as "a significant source for the history of radio astronomy and science in general" (Prof. Tim J. O’Brien, University of Manchester), its contents include earlier logbooks and research notebooks together with papers relating to the construction of the iconic telescope which commenced in 1952.

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