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UK to join ESO, upgrade Jodrell Bank
Posted: Thu, Dec 6, 2001, 8:59 AM ET (1359 GMT)
Jodrell Bank radio telescope Great Britain will become a member nation of the European Southern Observatory next year and also upgrade a leading radio observatory, British and ESO officials announced Wednesday. The UK will officially join ESO, which operates several telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope, in Chile, on July 1 of next year as the observatory's tenth member nation. By joining ESO the UK will also be able to become more involved in the development of ALMA, a multinational radio observatory being developed in Chile, and future observatory projects. The UK's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) also announced Wednesday that it would fund upgrades to MERLIN, a radio telescope array in Britain which includes the 76-meter Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. The future of Jodrell Bank was in question because PPARC was unsure it would be able to afford both the radio telescope and membership in ESO.
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