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  1. ITV Report

Sir Bernard Lovell dies aged 98

Sir Bernard Lovell with the telescope at Jodrell Bank Photo: PA Images

Sir Bernard Lovell, one of the pioneers of radio astronomy has died at the age of 98.

Sir Bernard, who was Emeritus Professor of Radioastronomy, was the founder and first Director of The University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

Born in 1913 in Gloucestershire, Sir Bernard studied at the University of Bristol before coming to Manchester to work in the Department of Physics in 1936.

During the Second World War, Sir Bernard led the team that developed radar allowing aircraft to map the ground for which he was awarded the OBE.

Sir Bernard at Jodrell Bank Credit: PA Images

Sir Bernard returned to Manchester in 1945 and began using former military equipment to scan for cosmic rays.

The equipment he set up suffered so much interference from the electric trams on Oxford Road that he moved it to a university botany site at Jodrell Bank, where it remains to this day.

The telescope at Jodrell Bank was conceived by Sir Bernard and built by Sir Charles Husband, it's 76-metre dish dominating the site in the Cheshire countryside.

The Lovell Telescope still plays a key role in world-leading research on pulsars, testing our understanding of extreme physics including Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

A Book of Condolence will be opened at the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre on 7th August, and an online version will also be available.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

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