YOU can help save the Green Bank Telescope!
Silhouetted dramatically against a mountainous backdrop in Green Bank, West Virginia is the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the largest fully steerable telescope on Earth. The GBT – 485 feet tall and weighing 17 million pounds – is the largest moving structure on land. It features clear optics and a computer controlled reflecting surface 2.3 acres in area!
It is fast becoming one of the county’s most popular destinations for individuals and groups of all ages!
Radio telescopes produce images of celestial bodies by recording the different amounts of radio emissions coming from the sky.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) designs, builds and operates the world's most sophisticated and advanced radio telescopes. Scientists from around the world use these powerful tools to study the sun, planets, and other objects in our own solar system, as well as distant stars, galaxies, and other mysterious objects many millions, or even billions of light-years away.
Tour the NRAO and see first hand all 11 telescopes, one being the Tatel Telescope which is best known for being used by Frank Drake for the first search for extraterrestrial intelligence; most of the time was spent in basic exploration of the radio universe. It was used to conduct surveys of radio sources and to measure temperatures on Venus and the moon.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Science Center offers visitors many opportunities to experience the elements of the Observatory and outer space. Visitors will enjoy the Star Lab, evening Star Parties, and high tech tours which are offered regularly. Take a moment to enjoy a beverage and sandwich on the Star Patio and look at the gorgeous countryside. Posters, games and other NRAO memorabilia are also available at their gift shop.
“Catching the Wave”, the theme for the hands-on exhibits at the Center, highlights the physics of radio waves through fun and educational interactive science displays. A featured exhibit is an eight foot tall working model of the GBT. With the model, you will be able to simulate an observing session, and analyze data and images from the telescope. At the same time, through a connection to the GBT control center, you will receive real-time bulletins about “science as it happens” with the real telescope.
The GBT and Science Center are popular with all types of groups and motorcoach tours. Tours can be easily scheduled any day of the week. An affordable bunkhouse for youth groups can accommodate up to 30 girls and 30 boys. For additional information and reservations, call 304-456-2164.
U. S. National Science Foundation
NRAO is a research facility of the U. S. National Science Foundation. It sits in the middle of what is commonly called a National Quiet Zone. The 13,000 square mile zone covers parts of 26 counties in West Virginia and its neighbor to the east, Virginia. The zone is identified by both natural barriers and federal legislation and is the only such region in the world. Low population density, coupled with the natural barriers of the Allegheny Mountains help create this anomaly.
NRAO attracts thousands of visitors each year to learn more about the gigantic telescopes. A new ultra-modern education center provides even more opportunities to explore the instruments, techniques, and remarkable discoveries of radio astronomers. It is a fascinating learning experience you will always remember.
Latitude : 38.43040 Longitude : 79.81773
on Rt 28 in Green Bank on left going north