Transformative Science for the Next Decades with the Green Bank Observatory

Big Questions, Large Programs, and New Instruments (October 16-20): With new instruments and excellent performance, the 100m Green Bank Telescope is only just reaching its full potential. On this 60th anniversary of the ground breaking for the Green Bank Observatory, we are holding a workshop looking toward the next 10, 20, and even 60 years of the Green Bank Observatory, and invite the community to attend and aid us in planning the future.

“…comet swarm, cloud of debris, or alien construction site”- Tabby’s Star Scrutinized by Green Bank Telescope

A fascinating article recently published by Astronomy Magazine, describes observations made using the Green Bank Telescope of a very quirky star known as Tabby’s Star (named after Tabetha Boyajian, the post-doc who studied its behavior).  Tabby’s star dims  substantially, at irregular intervals, setting it apart from other stars that harbor exoplanets.  What could account for these irregular dips in the star’s light? There are several ideas and they are all interesting.  But perhaps the most interesting of all is that the dimming is due to a massive array of solar energy-collecting structures in orbit around the star itself.

Want to know more?  Read the article on Astronomy Magazine’s website.

Green Bank Observatory Inauguration

Four years after the National Science Foundation announced it would drop funding for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank effective Oct. 1, 2016, the Pocahontas County research center remains alive and well, and as of last week, proudly independent.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory sign at the entrance to the 60-year-old research center along W.Va. 28 has been replaced with a sign bearing the new green and purple logo of the Green Bank Observatory. Last Saturday, former and current employees of the observatory, including Dr. Frank Drake, who conducted the world’s first scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence at Green Bank in 1960, took part in a dedication ceremony for the newly independent observatory. Read more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail article here.

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A few pictures from the inauguration are below, and a link to more will be made available soon.



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.