A New Era for Green Bank Observatory, Dr. James M. Jackson Named Director

Dr. James M. Jackson pictured with the Green Bank Telescope, photographed on a trip in 2017.

The Green Bank Observatory (GBO) enters a new era of leadership in October. Dr. James M. Jackson, an internationally known astrophysicist, has accepted the role of director. 

After serving as director for 15 years, Dr. Karen O’Neil will join the scientific staff. O’Neil has led the Observatory since 2006, including overseeing the separation from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the successful transition to Green Bank Observatory in 2016. She looks forward to being a longstanding member of the Observatory staff and being a vital part of its continued growth. 

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COVID-19 Safety Operations

In response to the health concerns posed by COVID-19, the Green Bank Observatory has made changes to its public programs and events.

Learn more about how to access the Science Center, bus tours, and other guided programs here.

Tour tickets are required to enter the Science Center. These can be purchased at our online store.

At this time, occupancy to the Science Center, cafe, and gift shop is limited to ensure safety. Purchase your ticket online before you visit to ensure your reservation.

Masks are required to be worn by those two years and older over nose and mouth while inside Science Center, buses, and participating in any of our activities. THIS IS STRICTLY ENFORCED FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR STAFF AND ALL VISITORS.

Virtual tours, live streams, and video updates on Observatory news and education are also available, tune in here.

As these operations continue to evolve, please check back for updates.

Take a FREE self-guided walking tour on site. Hiking and biking are welcome. An observation deck to view the Green Bank Telescope is located in the Jansky Lab parking lot. You can download and print a map for a self guided walking tour here.

Learn more about biking onsite here.

Visit the Galaxy Gift Shop online.

Try these educational resources and activities at home.

Our instruments are extremely sensitive, and many operate 24-hours a day. Smart phones, digital cameras, fitness trackers, and other electronic devices can interfere with observations. Our scientists thank you for leaving these powered off in your vehicle!

Educational groups scheduled for visits and programs in 2021 that are affected by this change in operations will be contacted directly. Virtual visits are being offered for groups, learn more here. If you have questions, please contact our Education staff directly at reservations@gbobservatory.org.

Student Summer Research Programs at GBO & NRAO Get a Boost from Going Remote

Summer programs welcome highest-ever number of incoming students and mentors
A snapshot of summer students and mentors during a virtual session. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF

The summer research programs at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) kicked off in May 2021 with a significant increase in participation. This year’s program welcomed 65 students across all partner locations, a nearly 67-percent increase over the prior year. NRAO and the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) also welcomed 45 mentors to the summer programs—a record number—many of whom are first-time or early-career mentors.

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Four Children of GBO Staff Among Recipients of 2021 AUI Scholarship

AUI has selected the recipients of its 2021 AUI Scholarship, who each will be awarded a $3,500 renewable scholarship ($14,000 over four years to each scholar) to support their academic careers. Fourteen outstanding high school seniors were selected based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership skills. 

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