COVID-19 Pandemic

Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (including Jodrell Bank Observatory & e-MERLIN/VLBI National facility and the UK’s ALMA Regional Centre) update March 19, 2020.

Following the development of the COVID19 epidemic and information from UK Government and Public Health England, The University of Manchester has taken the decision to suspend face to face activities and pause research activity which requires physical access to University facilities, including temporarily reducing activities at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (JBCA). Many JBCA staff are working at home, delivering online lectures, supervising students, conducting research, writing papers, developing software and attending internal and external meetings via various video applications.  

Jodrell Bank Observatory (part of JBCA) is running at a minimum safe level that secures the telescopes and observing facilities. Through this period, a minimum level of staff will be present on site to ensure the security and integrity of facilities, grounds and equipment.  Scientific observations using the e-MERLIN/VLBI National facilities have been temporarily paused effective from 1700UTC 17th March 2020.

Throughout this period scientific support and engineering staff will continue to work remotely to support our scientific community. This will include maintaining the provision for remote scientific support and services, on a best effort basis.  e-MERLIN and UK ALMA regional centre community and user support will be maintained in a remote contact capacity, including data access and remote expert analysis support via email or video-conferencing.

These measures are under continual review and will be updated as required. Planned increases in the levels of operational activities will occur once it is deemed safe and appropriate to do so. 

JBCA, the e-MERLIN/VLBI National Facility, the ALMA regional Centre and the University of Manchester are committed to the worldwide effort to avoid the spread of the virus and protecting the health of colleagues, their families and the community at large. This will also remain the observatory’s highest priority.

JBCA is working in close cooperation with the other organisations that share the Observatory site, in particular, the SKA Organisation and the Discovery Centre. Announcements regarding parallel activities from these organisations can be found at: 


Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre:


Further announcements will be published on the Jodrell Bank Centre of Astrophysics, e-MERLIN/National facility and UK ALMA Regional Centre websites

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