QUESTER 6 and 9 SEEK THE STARS
VISIT TO CHILBOLTON LABORATORY – 19th October 2017
Both groups had organised their visit independently, so it was a nice surprise to meet at the gates for a rare opportunity to visit this landmark site to learn about the cutting edge of weather and space research. The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Chilbolton Laboratory near Stockbridge has been a major UK hub for meteorological measurements, radar, astronomy and satellite tracking. It rarely opens its doors to visitors, but on its 50th anniversary on 19 October we were able to take advantage of its ‘Open Day’ . We had been asked to wear sensible shoes and clothing, and because of the wet weather, it was a good thing we did so.
We were given a map of the site and were able to visit the various installations (umbrellas came in useful) manned by experts who told us about tracking by radar, the various meteorological instruments and the huge radio telescope. To visit that, we donned hard hats and climbed to the viewing gallery. A visit to the main control room with its banks of screens This really was an interesting and informative visit and a great opportunity to be inspired by so many enthusiastic scientist who did their best to explain their complex work in layman's terms. Afterwards, lunch at the local pub was a welcome place to warm up.