Today is National Space day and, seeing as we’re the European City of Science 2016, we thought we would celebrate by highlighting some of Manchester’s greatest seismic achievements.

The City has a unique scientific heritage, boasting some of the most momentous scientific discoveries of all time. The first atom was split, computer built and aeroplane designed here and an impressive 25 Nobel Laureates have hailed from the Manchester University.

With so many accomplishments under its belt, there was never any doubt that Manchester would be a pioneer in space exploration. In the 1930s, an astronomer called Bernard Lovell moved to Manchester to conduct research at the University. His speciality was “cosmic rays” however the light pollution from the City made it difficult to complete his studies so decided to push for funding to build a large radio telescope that would be based away from the City itself.

After a tense wait, funding was finally granted and an 89-meter-high structure was built and operational by 1957. It was the largest telescope at the time and still aids in tracking artificial satellites and doubles up as a long range ballistic missile radar system! The Lovell Telescope is based at Jodrell Bank Observatory.

You can visit the Jodrell Bank Observatory today to see the telescope or for loads of great events such as the Bluedot Festival, which takes place between the 22nd – 24th July 2016. The event combines music, science and space exploration to provide a fully immersive experience and includes DJ sets, comedy shows, seminars and live scientific experiments. With a superb light show, stargazing and plenty of food & drink to keep you dazzled, you have to check this out! Tickets are on sale now and available at their website.

If you need accommodation while you’re exploring the City and the fabulous events it has on offer, then there’s no better place to stay than the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre. Book your room at

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