New radio telescope at Kielder makes studying space more accessible

  • Video report by Tom Barton

Kielder Observatory, under some of the finest dark skies in Europe, has taken delivery of a new telescope in hopes to boost space tourism in the North and make distance learning about the Universe possible.

The five-metre diameter Spider 500 radio telescope has been installed in Kielder Forest, in Northumberland. 

Radio astronomy has a good history, being responsible for the discovery of the Big Bang theory and, as it detects radio waves coming from space, it is weatherproof meaning observers do not have to be reliant on clear skies.

  • Dan Pye, Director of Astronomy, Kielder Observatory

Catherine Johns, CEO of Kielder Observatory, says the move into radio astronomy will allow Kielder to contribute to worldwide scientific research and attract university research into Northumberland as well as developing its remote outreach activities. It could also boost tourism in and around Northumberland by approximately £150,000 per year.