- Green Bank Observatory - http://greenbankobservatory.org -

60 years of Radio Astronomy in Green Bank

While the Green Bank Observatory celebrates its one-year anniversary in October, the location itself (Green Bank) is celebrating a much longer relationship with radio astronomy. Green Bank, West Virginia, was the first home of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and we are celebrating 60 years of research and discovery this year!

Below is a list of some of our significant accomplishments and events over the last 60 years:

1957 – Dedication of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
1958 – Dedication of the Tatel Telescope (85-1)
1958 – National Radio Quiet Zone established
1959 – Discovery of Jupiter’s radiation belts
1959-  First Green Bank summer students arrive
1960 – First Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence–Project Ozma
1961 – Drake equation written and presented to the Symposium for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
1961 – Development of bolometers and mm-wave receivers/telescopes.
1962 – First 300’ Telescope observations
1964 – First Green Bank Interferometer observations
1965 – 140’ observations begin
1965 – First high signal to noise detection of radio recombination lines
1967 – First U.S. VLBI observation: Green Bank to Maryland
1967-1973 – Discovery of flat galactic rotation curves, implying dark matter
1968-  First detection of Zeeman splitting of hydrogen
1968 – First intercontinental interferometry: Green Bank to Sweden
1968 – First pulsar discovered in a supernova remnant (Crab Nebula)
1969 – First organic polyatomic molecule detected in interstellar space
1970 – First detection of radio novae
1971 – First long-chain molecule detected (HC3N)
1974 – Detection the black hole at the center of the Milky Way (Sgr A*)
1975 – First radio confirmation of Einstein’s relativistic bending of light
1977 – Determination of the Tully-Fisher relationship
1979 – GBI retires and is run by the naval observatory for earth orientation and timing
1985-1986 – 300’ Telescope 1400 MHz sky survey
1987 – First residential teacher workshop/ 40’ Telescope becomes dedicated educational instrument
1988 – 300’ Telescopes collapse
1989 – CBS 5 GHz survey of radio sources
1989 – Senator Robert C. Byrd sponsors an appropriation for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT)
1991 – GBT groundbreaking
1995 – 140’ 30th anniversary conference and celebration
1995 – 20-meter Telescope built by the Naval Observatory and begins measurement of Earth’s orientation and rotation
1997 – Operation of Green Bank OVLBI Earth station with VSOP
2000 – Green Bank Telescope dedication and first light
2001 – Most detailed radar image produced of Venus’s surface geography
2003 – Green Bank Science Center dedicated
2004 – Detection of a population of high-velocity hi clouds around Andromeda
2005 – High-resolution radar mapping of the Moon
2005 – Discovery of >20 millisecond pulsars in a globular cluster Terzan 5
2006 – Detection of the first interstellar anion
2006 – Discovery of the fastest millisecond pulsar, with a spin of 716 times/second
2006 – First light for 3mm GBT Observations (Mustang)
2006 – Best tests of general relativity from a double-pulsar system
2007 – Detection of the molten core of the planet Mercury
2007 – GBT track replaced
2007 – PAPER begins fabrication for Galford Meadow Array
2008 – First detection of pre-biotic molecules in space
2008 – First discovery of a pulsar by a high school student
2009 – Fabrication of PAPER antennas for deployment in South Africa
2009 – GBT achieves planned surface performance at 3mm
2009 – Discovery of the first radio pulsar/x-ray binary “missing link”
2011-Present – Launch of most successful low-frequency pulsar survey, the GBNCC Pulsar Survey
2010 – Measurement of the most massive neutron star known
2010 – First redshift determinations for the Herschel sub-mm galaxies
2010 – Development of GUPPI Pulsar Backend
2010 – Intensity mapping developed to study hydrogen at z~0.8
2010 – 50th anniversary of SETI conference
2010 – GBT receiver turret capability extended
2010 – First high angular resolution image of the Sunyaev-Zel’Dovich Effect
2011-Present – Ongoing discovery of millisecond pulsars in Fermi unassociated sources
2012 – Detection of the second >2 msun neutron star
2013 – Limits on the stochastic gravitational wave background
2014 – Mustang 1.5 deployed, with rotator
2014 – Discovery of only known millisecond pulsar in a stellar triple system
2014 – Mapping by GBT results in the identification of Laniakea Supercluster
2014 – Discovery of excess dust emission at 3mm in the Orion Integral Shaped Filament.
2015 – GBT determines Gravitational Constant uniform across the universe
2016 – GBT discovers pebble-sized proto-planets in Orion
2016 – Detection of Massive Gas “Smith Cloud” on collision with Milky Way
2016 – First detection of a chiral (handed) molecule in space
2016 – NANOGrav limits on the nHz gravitational wave background start to constrain binary supermassive black hole environments
2016 – Green Bank Observatory established
2016 – Mustang 223 feedhorn bolometer
2016 – First multi-pixel camera for GBT 3mm spectroscopy (Argus)
2017 – Commissioning of the most sensitive phased array feed in the world (FLAG)
2017 – Phased Array Feed commissioned on GBT
2017 – GBT beamformer 3mm results
2017 – GBT reveals “ageless” silicon that may indicate a well-mixed galaxy