Eclipse Event at Green Bank Observatory

Image above is similar to what West Virginians will see if they observe the eclipse this August! (Image source: Have you heard?! This summer, you have the chance to experience a spectacular stellar event! On August 21, the star that brings us spring flowers, warm days by the pool, and the northern lights, a.k.a. our Sun, will be eclipsed by the Moon. Want to see it? You’re invited! The Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, WV is hosting a Great American Eclipse viewing party. Don’t miss out on this rare event. It’s been 26 years since a partial solar eclipse was visible from West Virginia! A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s orbit puts the moon directly between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. This only happens during the new moon phase, but we don’t see an eclipse every month because the Moon’s orbital path around the Earth is tilted relative to the Earth’s path around the sun. A perfect alignment between Sun, Moon and Earth is needed for an eclipse.
west to east swath of eclipse coverage
Image showing the west to east swath of totality across North America. The circles to the left and right of the central swath indicate the amount of light that will be visible from the Sun during the peak of the eclipse. In other words, it is the maximum amount of occlusion the Moon will provide during the eclipse.
Map Credit: Michael Zeiler at and Fiske Planetarium
The relative positions of the Earth and Moon matter a lot when determining whether the eclipse will be a total or partial eclipse. This eclipse is called the Great American Eclipse because across an entire narrow swath of the country from west to east, the eclipse will be total. West Virginians will be able to see a 90% partial eclipse this August. This means only 10% of the Sun’s light will be visible from behind the Moon! So join us from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM for a day of food, fun, and education!
  • Hands-on Activities from 11 AM- 12 PM
  • Lunch and Exhibits from 12 PM – 4 PM
  • SAFE Eclipse Viewing through telescopes and projections. Plus live streaming video of the eclipse provided by NASA from 1 PM – 4 PM
Our Great American Eclipse lunch will be “All American” too! For $5.00 you will be able to purchase:
  • Two slices of pizza and a soda
  • Two hotdogs, chips, and a drink*
  • A hamburger, chips, and a drink*
*Cash Only Options. Additional bags of chips and drinks may be purchased for $0.50 and $1.00 respectively while supplies last. Showing up for the event is free so tell your neighbors, pack up the family, and head to 155 Observatory Rd. Green Bank, WV 24944. Important Note: To safely view the eclipse with your eyes you need to use special eclipse glasses.  These are super dark – much darker than sunglasses! So whether you join our eclipse party or plan to be somewhere else on August 21, you can purchase a pair of eclipse glasses for just $2.00 each at our Gift Shop. Eclipse glasses are on sale now, call (304) 456-2150 for details! Learn more about eclipses and specifically about the Great American Eclipse: We would love to know if you’re joining us! Visit our Great American Eclipse event page on Facebook and let us know you’re attending today!

ABC News10: Town full of people lives without cellphones, Wi-Fi to get signals from space

GBT_EYM_2009_brochureNo cell phones, no Wi-Fi… not even a radio station. And that’s just how one town in West Virginia wants it. The town of Green Bank doesn’t use personal technology because it’s listening to something else. It’s in the middle of the national radio quiet zone, home to the World’s largest movable radio telescope. The telescope is trying to pick up faint signals from outer space, but that means people in this small town can’t have some modern conveniences. “For the people in the immediate area of the telescope we need the quiet,” said Jay Lockman, National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The town does have landlines and payphones, but microwave ovens have to be in protective steel boxes. When a dollar general opened the automatic doors had to be removed because it was interfering with the telescope Aired on ABC  News10.  See more on their website.

CBS Pittsburgh: No Cell Phones, Wi-Fi Allowed In Small W.Va. Town

GBT_EYM_2009_brochureWould you believe there’s a place where no one can use a cell phone? Where Wi-Fi is not allowed? Where even finding a radio station can be a difficult task? There’s a town in West Virginia a few hours to south of Pittsburgh where all that is true. Green Bank is a place where you can hear nature. Where you can hear yourself think. And that’s because some very important listening is going on. You see, Green Bank is home to the largest moveable radio telescope in the world. “For people in the immediate area of the telescope, we really need the quiet,” said Jay Lockman from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. They’re trying to pick up very faint signals from outer space, so people in this small town can’t have some of today’s modern conveniences. Aired on CBS Pittsburgh.  See more on CBS Pittsburgh.

06/26/2016: ‘Full Measure’: The No-Fi zone

85ft_Twitter_2016Just three hours from the nation’s capital, two unthinkable acts are occurring. One, an unlikely partnership with the Russians, and two — prepare yourself — the government is cutting ties to your cellphone. “Full Measure” news correspondent Joce Sterman traveled to the No-Fi zone. In the digital age, we live on an electronic leash, and sometimes we dream of a life not on a tether. You’ll find it in this town of fewer than 200 people. Green Bank, West Virginia is the kind of place where chickens roam free, country songs spill from the lone AM station, and the sound of crickets is drowned out only by a passing car on a country road. It’s not the shelter of the mountain hills that shields Green Bank from the intrusions of technology. It is the demands of the technology itself. Aired on WJLA.  See more at:

06/07/2016: Growing crops, business in WV no small potatoes

Daily_Mail_potatoes_2016What can people in West Virginia do to make the state more economically productive and diverse, particularly to overcome the loss of many of its traditional big money industries? How about agriculture?
A crazy idea considering the rugged terrain of much of the Mountain State, but when you look further, is it such a crazy idea after all? The Sunday Gazette-Mail featured a group of farmers working together at a place you’d least expect it, the grounds of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank. Last week, farmers planted the last of six five-acre plots on a stretch of level land between the Observatory’s headquarters building and the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope with potatoes. The work, done by six teams of Pocahontas County farmers using a state-owned planting machine, is part of an effort by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to encourage farmers to consider growing potatoes as a new cash crop. Records show that in 1927, West Virginia’s best year for agricultural production, about 53,000 acres were devoted to potato production statewide, compared with less than 1,000 acres today.
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