At a new UK World Heritage Site visitors center, the excitement is astronomical - Stavros Niarchos Foundation

At a new UK World Heritage Site visitors center, the excitement is astronomical
27 JULY 2022

At Jodrell Bank Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cheshire, England, a new center welcomes visitors to learn about how the site has helped us better understand the universe through radio astronomy.

The First Light Pavilion, created with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and many others, tells the stories of the scientists at Jodrell Bank who contributed to the discovery of quasars, monitored the moon landing, and much more.

Visitors can now experience a virtual meteor shower, how a snake sees the world, and what it’s like to control a massive radio telescope. The otherworldly First Light Pavilion, a grass-covered underground dome, has a slit to let in light at its midpoint that turns the building itself into a sundial, linking it into the British Isles’ long history of monumental construction guided by astronomy, like Stonehenge.

SNF is proud to help kindle curiosity—especially among young people—through exhibits that explore how science continues to pull back the curtain on the workings of our world, from Project What If at We the Curious in Birmingham to the new medical galleries at London’s Science Museum, to a traveling exhibit on technology in the ancient Greek world created by NOESIS in Thessaloniki.

Watch the 2018 SNF Dialogues discussion that focused on astronomy, including SNF’s support for an important ongoing project in the field.