"Super Bowl" Cancelled?

The big picture

1 min read

This massive, steerable parabolic dish, which in 1957 tracked the ascent of the rocket that launched Sputnik I into space and is sensitive enough to pick up a ­cellphone call from the ­surface of Mars, may soon be out of the ­astronomy ­business. The dark clouds in the ­picture that hover over the Lovell Radio Telescope, located at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, in England, are ­apropos. Government ­funding for a program that would keep the ­telescope peering into the heavens may soon be slashed. Lovell is a protected landmark, so it won’t be torn down. Instead, the dish could be ­repurposed as a giant movie screen, displaying stars of a different sort than those for which it was originally designed.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions