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Drake Lecture: Alyssa Goodman

Saturday April 23rd, 7pm

Dr. Alyssa Goodman is a Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and a Research Associate at Smithsonian Institution. She will share her amazing experience as an astronomer and about data visualization as the next frontier in astronomy and astrophysics. 

The Drake Lecture honors the legacy of Frank Drake, who created his famous equation and launched the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence as a scientist in the early days of the Green Bank Observatory.

This free public lecture will be held in the Green Bank Science Center auditorium at 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 23. Free tickets must be registered for in advance; walk-ins cannot be admitted.

Attend in person.

Watch the live stream from home!

Use this link when the event happens Saturday evening.

2022 Science Center Schedule

The Green Bank Science Center is now open to pre-registered, vaccinated visitors! Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Plan Your Trip

Take a Tour

We offer a variety of tour options including our popular Site Tour and our specialized SETI and High Tech Tours. You can even take a self-guided walking tour or explore our miles of trails. Thank you for turning your phone and digital devices off.

The Science Center is open daily to pre-registered visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Bus tours begin hourly. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are required for all guided programs and entry into the Science Center.

Visit the Exhibit Hall

Discover how radio astronomers learn about the Universe. Interactive exhibits and fascinating facts await you inside a huge Faraday cage. Don’t know what a Faraday cage is? You’ll learn that and so much more on our site tours!

Have a Bite

The Starlight Café has reopened with a limited menu of takeout options! Onsite ordering available to those with Science Center tour tickets or call ahead to place your takeout order – 304-456-2361. Open Thursday-Monday from 11:00-6:00 (last orders taken at 5:30).

Shop the Galaxy Gift Shop

The Galaxy Gift Shop offers apparel, collectibles, and the best variety of educational toys around! Indulge your inner scientist! Can’t make it for a visit? Shop from home on our online store!

Special Tours

SETI Tours

Select Fridays (dates below); 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.;
$40/person

Due to high demand and limited capacity, advance reservations are required. 20 participants max.; Ages 12 & up. The tour requires climbing stairs. Background screening and confirmation of vaccination are required.

Our tour celebrates Green Bank’s historic Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). It begins with an exclusive presentation right in the control room of our 85-1 Telescope where the search began with Frank Drake’s OZMA project. From there, guests enjoy rare admittance into the 140-foot telescope where Jill Tarter’s Project Phoenix took place and then to normally-restricted GBT access points. The tour ends in our Drake Lounge where you will be greeted by one of our own astronomers and learn about the future of SETI and the role of the GBT in the Breakthrough Listen project.

If you’ve ever wanted to be inside our operation control rooms or to speak to one of our radio astronomers in person, then this is THE opportunity of a lifetime!

SETI Tour dates:
3/18, 4/8, 5/20, 6/3, 6/10, 6/24, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, 8/19, 8/26

High Tech Tours

Select Thursdays (dates below) 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; $20/person

15 participants max.; no photography of any kind is permitted. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Background screening and confirmation of vaccination are required.

Look inside receivers and marvel at the precise engineering required to collect the faintest signals from the Universe. An Observatory engineer will pull back the curtain on our site labs and control room as you see what makes our observatory one of the world’s leading radio telescope facilities.

High Tech Tour Dates:
3/10, 4/14, 5/12, 6/9, 7/14, 8/18, 9/8, 10/13, 11/10, 12/8

Nature Walk

Select dates (below).

Explore one of our many trails with a resident naturalist. Experience the flora, fauna, and geology that make our Observatory unique. Maximum 12 people per tour, reservations encouraged. $5/person.

Tour Dates:
4/23; more dates coming soon!

Virtual Opportunities

Can’t make it to Green Bank? Join us virtually! We offer field trips, live stream events, and more!

Events

Star Parties

Meet at the Science Center – begins at Sunset. FREE!

Green Bank Observatory staff will treat you to views of the night sky through optical telescopes. If it is raining, don’t worry, we will have a stellar indoor presentation.

Star Party Dates:
8/27, 9/24, 10/22, 11/19, 12/17

Family Science Labs

Select Saturdays (dates below) 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.; reservations suggested; FREE!

Get your family started in science! Kids, age 4-9, will love our fun-filled, hands-on science experiments!

Family Science Lab Dates:
Dates will be announced soon!

Drake Lectureship

Saturday, April 23 with Dr. Alyssa Goodman

The Frank Drake Lectureship is awarded each year to a member of the sciences, arts, or humanities community in recognition of their contributions to advancing human knowledge and creativity. Learn more at https://fb.me/e/1ExJaZhMj

Over the Moon Party

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Make impact craters, stomp rockets, make a spacesuit, take a GBT ground tour, and more! This outdoor event will feature hands-on science activities and fun STEM learning opportunities!

Public attendees are not required to pre-register, be vaccinated, or wear face masks.

Spread the word and bring your friends!

(Please note, there will be no indoor access to the Science Center during this event.)

Hungry for dinner or a snack? Grab a bite from the Starlight Cafe! Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Schedule

5:30-8:30 – hands-on science activities
8:30-9:30 – Observe the Moon party

Stay late to view the Lunar eclipse!

Turkey Trot

November 26, 2022

Burn off the Thanksgiving feast at the annual Turkey Trot hosted by the Green Bank Observatory! Race in a traditional 5k run/walk, a 10K trail run, or the 1K Gobble Wobble for kids 8 and under.

Special Events

Space Race Rumpus

2022 Date TBD

Join us for a weekend-long cycling festival with a variety of fun rides! Whether you are an experienced mountain biker or complete novice, there are rides, races, and cycling for all ages and levels.

Learn More

Star Quest

June 29 – July 2, 2022

The nation’s largest optical and radio star party! Enjoy optical presentations, hands-on workshops, and dark West Virginia skies.

Learn More

Garth Newel Emerging Artist Fellow Showcase

August 11, 2022

Music comes to the Observatory from the Garth Newel Music Center in Warm Springs, VA, and the Emerging Artist Fellowship program.

Learn More

Groups and Field Trips

Organized Group Tours

Motor coach groups are welcome. Tours can be scheduled any day of the week. A $5 fee per person is required for motor coach tours; two hour minimum visit for full tour.

Educational Field Trips

Schedule free tours, activities, and day and overnight field trips for organized groups of K-16 students and youth clubs. Overnight students experience science first-hand by completing research projects with a real radio telescope. A trip to the Observatory might just inspire your students to join the next generation of scientists and engineers!

Scouting Trips

Day trips can be scheduled any day of the week. Tour reservations are free for organized scout groups but advance arrangements are required. For overnight stays and badge completions see dates below:

Scouts BSA Astronomy Badge Weekend Dates:
3/11-13 (FULL); 4/29-5/1 (FULL); 9/16-18 (FULL); 11/18-20

Girl Scout Badge Weekend Dates
(Junior/Senior Scouts): 10/21-23

Daisies & Brownies Day Trip Dates available on request

We’ll come to you!

Request a college ambassador from our West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT) to visit your school or group and deliver standards-based presentations and hands-on activities. Virtual presentations also available.