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About the Green Bank Observatory

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Mission Statement

Green Bank Observatory enables leading edge research at radio wavelengths by offering telescope, facility and advanced instrumentation access to the astronomy community as well as to other basic and applied research communities. With radio astronomy as its foundation, the Green Bank Observatory is a world leader in advancing research, innovation, and education.

Our Facility

The first trailblazers of American radio astronomy called Green Bank Observatory home over 60 years ago. Today, their legacy is alive and well. Nestled in the mountain ranges and farmland of West Virginia, within the National Quiet Zone, radio astronomers are listening to the remote whispers of the universe, in order to discover answers to our most astounding astronomical questions.

Download a PDF of our 2024 Green Bank Observatory booklet.

Specifically, the Green Bank Observatory:

  • provides state-of-the-art telescopes, instrumentation and expertise
  • trains the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technicians;
  • promotes science, technology and engineering to foster a more scientifically literate society;
  • provides the tools and facilities to advance science and technology nationally and internationally.

Our Vision: we are here …

To Discover.

We are here to discover… black holes, stellar birth, pulsars, hubble constant, big bang energy, universe expansion, and the origins of life.

To See the Unseen.

We are here to harness the power of radio waves to explore astronomy.

To Foster Innovation and Curiosity.

We are here to escape from the noise and learn, share, teach.
We are on the pursuit of knowledge.

… and talk about Einsteins General Theory of Relativity, too.

To Educate.

We are here to encourage your sense of wonder for the unknown beyond our planet.

Science Center

West Virginia’s Space Place

Home of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope

Rediscover the Universe at
Green Bank Observatory

The Green Bank Science Center features the Catching the Wave Exhibit Hall, a 150-seat auditorium, classrooms, a gift shop, and Starlight Café.

How do I get up close to the telescopes? Do you offer guided tours?

We offer Guided Bus Tours at regular intervals throughout the day. Browse ticket options and learn more at Tickets may be purchased online in advance or at the front desk on the day of your visit.

You may also take a self-guided walking tour of the grounds using this map, which is also available to pick up outside the entrance of the Science Center. A walk to the Green Bank Telescope is 1.5 miles one way, following our scale model of our solar system (that’s 3 miles round trip!)

Besides a tour, what else can I do at the Science Center?

The Green Bank Science Center houses a huge interactive room called “Catching the Wave Exhibit Hall”.

Our Galaxy Gift Shop offers all of our great merchandise in our online store. Shop now to find the perfect gift or souvenir! Educators enjoy a 10% discount.

For Students and Teachers

We also create field trip experiences that meet the National Science Education Standards and state-based science learning goals. At this time registration is limited to ensure the safety of our staff and groups.

Call 304-456-2150 or email gro.y1708941660rotav1708941660resbo1708941660bg@sn1708941660oitav1708941660reser1708941660 for more information!


04/27/2016: Green Bank Ein Dorf ohne Elektrosmog

Green Bank – A Village without Electric Smog

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04/21/2016: Hunt Continues for Gravitational Waves from Black Hole Megamergers

GravitationalwavesThe sound of merging supermassive black holes does not saturate the universe.

For the past decade, scientists with the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration have been listening for a constant “hum” of low-frequency gravitational waves.

Theoretical work suggests that this hum — generated by collisions involving supermassive black holes, which contain millions or billions of times more mass than the sun — should be detectable at Earth. NANOGrav hasn’t heard the hum yet, a new study reveals, but this lack of detection is an interesting result in its own right, revealing new details of how galaxies might evolve and merge, team members said. [The Search for Gravitational Waves in Pictures]

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