Astronomers peer into the lair of a mysterious source of cosmic radio bursts

Artist concept of fast radio burst. Image Credit: Design: Danielle Futselaar; photo usage: shutterstock.com

Green Bank, January 10, 2018 – Using two of the world’s largest radio telescopes, an international team of astronomers have gained new insight into the extreme home of a mysterious source of cosmic radio bursts.  The discovery suggests that the source of the radio emission lies near a massive black hole or within an extremely powerful nebula, and may help shed light on what is causing these strange bursts.

The team presented their findings at the American Astronomical Society’s winter meeting (#AAS231) in Washington, D.C.  The results are presented in the journal Nature.

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Eclipse Event at Green Bank Observatory

Ecplise with corona
Image similar to what West Virginians will see if they observe the eclipse this August.

Image above is similar to what West Virginians will see if they observe the eclipse this August! (Image source: RedOrbit.com)

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!

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GBT Captures Orion Blazing Bright in Radio Light

A team of astronomers has unveiled a striking new image of the Orion Molecular Cloud (OMC) – a bustling stellar nursery teeming with bright, young stars and dazzling regions of hot, glowing gas.

The researchers used the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia to study a 50 light-year long filament of star-forming gas that is wending its way through the northern portion of the OMC known as Orion A.

The GBT rendered this image by detecting the faint radio signals naturally emitted by molecules of ammonia that suffuse interstellar clouds. Scientists study these molecules to trace the motion and temperature of vast swaths of star-forming gas.

These observations are part of the first data release from a large campaign known as the Green Bank Ammonia Survey. Its purpose is to map all the star-forming ammonia and other key tracer molecules in a massive structure known as the Gould Belt.

The Gould Belt is an extended ribbon of bright, massive stars stretching about 3,000 light-years in an arc across the sky.  This first release covers four distinct Gould Belt clouds, one located in Taurus, one in Perseus, one in Ophiuchus, and Orion A North in Orion.

‘Ageless’ Silicon throughout Milky Way May Indicate a Well-Mixed Galaxy

As galaxies age, some of their basic chemical elements can also show signs of aging. This aging process can be seen as certain atoms “put on a little weight,” meaning they change into heavier isotopes — atoms with additional neutrons in their nuclei.

Surprisingly, new surveys of the Milky Way with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, found no such aging trend for the element silicon, a fundamental building block of rocks throughout our solar system. This “ageless” appearance may mean that the Milky Way is more efficient at mixing its contents than previously thought, thereby masking the telltale signs of chemical aging.

ESS Passport Teacher Workshop

June 18, 2017 – July 1, 2017

Green Bank Observatory

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Description:

The Earth and Space Science (ESS) Passport is an exciting, two-year professional development program for West Virginia teachers who are or who plan to teach Earth and Space Science– from the ninth grade course, down through the middle school grades.

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