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Green Bank Observatory’s link to the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics

the 85-2 and 85-3 radio telescopes
85-2 and 85-3 working together with the 85-1 (not shown) in the Green Bank Interferometer, the NRAO’s first array. (NSF/AUI)

Three scientists won the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics for their study of the super massive black hole that sits at the center of our galaxy. This black hole, Sagittarius A*, as it’s known, was first discovered as a bright radio object in 1974 at the Green Bank Observatory.


Contact Tracing

If you were at the Green Bank Observatory and have tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19, please call our safety team at (304) 456-2215. You can also fill out the form below with the following information:

Green Bank, Biking, & Mon Forest Towns

students in front of the GBT

Did you know that Green Bank is a Mon Forest Town? Several small towns located within the Monongahela National Forest are great locations for accessing a variety of recreational activities, from hiking and biking trails, to camping.

Green Bank has been featured in the Mon Forest Towns website with a guide to biking on site. Read the full story here.




HI-MaNGA is a 21cm follow-up program for the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey. We are currently observing all z<0.05 MaNGA galaxies with the Green Bank Telescope which lack HI data from other sources.

The goal of HI-MaNGA is to provide valuable information about the cold gas content of galaxies, which can help to address several of MaNGA’s key science questions: (1) How does gas accretion drive the growth of galaxies? (2) What are the relative roles of stellar accretion, major mergers, and instabilities in forming galactic bulges and ellipticals? (3) What quenches star formation? What external forces affect star formation in groups and clusters? (4) How was angular momentum distributed among baryonic and non-baryonic components as the galaxy formed, and how do various mass components assemble and influence one another?

Example HI spectra (right) of three MaNGA galaxies

Survey Status

A summary of past and ongoing observing programs, as well as the status of the data, is as follows:

  • 16A-095: 193 hours ( Feb 2016-2017)
    • 331 galaxies 
    • Released in Masters et al. (2019)
  • 17A-012: 1080+194 hour extension (Dec 2017-Feb 2019) 
    • 2159 galaxies
    • Majority to be released in Stark et al. (submitted) 
  • 19A-127: 199 hours (Feb – Apr 2019)
    • 352 galaxies
    • Reduction in progress
  • 20B-033: 580 hours (ongoing)
    • ~900 more galaxies expected


Access to DR1 (Masters et al. 2019) can be found here.

DR2 (Stark et al. submitted) coming soon!


The following is a list of papers which use HI-MaNGA data:

  • Fraser-Mckelvie et al. (in press) “SDSS-IV MaNGA: The link between bars and the early cessation of star formation in spiral galaxies” (arXiv)
  • Lin et al. (in press) “ALMaQUEST – IV. The ALMA-MaNGA QUEnching and STar formation (ALMaQUEST) Survey”
  • Masters et al. (2019) “H I-MaNGA: H I follow-up for the MaNGA survey” (arXiv)
  • Roberts-Borsani et al. (2020) “Outflows in star-forming galaxies: Stacking analyses of resolved winds and the relation to their hosts’ properties” (arXiv)
  • Lin et al. (2020) “SDSS-IV MaNGA: the indispensable role of bars in enhancing the central star formation of low-z galaxies” (arXiv)
  • Sun et al. (2019) “Environmental Influences on Star Formation in Low-mass Galaxies Observed by the SDSS-IV/MaNGA Survey” (ADS)
  • Goddy et al. (2020) “L-band Calibration of the Green Bank Telescope from 2016─2019” (arXiv)
  • Lin et al. (2017) “SDSS IV MaNGA: Discovery of an Hα Blob Associated with a Dry Galaxy Pair—Ejected Gas or a “Dark” Galaxy Candidate?” (arXiv)
  • Lin et al. (2017) “SDSS-IV MaNGA-resolved Star Formation and Molecular Gas Properties of Green Valley Galaxies: A First Look with ALMA and MaNGA” (arXiv)


(Undergraduate team members in bold)

  • Karen Masters (PI)
  • David V. Stark
  • Vladimir Avila-Reese
  • Matthew Bershady
  • Nicholas Fraser Boardman
  • Brian Cherinka
  • Sean Dillon
  • Catherine E. Fielder
  • Daniel Finnegan
  • Patricia Fofie
  • Julian Goddy
  • Emily Harrington
  • Zach Pace
  • Frederika Phipps
  • Rogemar A. Riffel
  • Rogerio Riffel
  • Kate Rowlands
  • Wiphu Rujopakarn
  • Nattida Samanso
  • Jose R. Sanchez-Gallego
  • Shoaib Shamsi
  • Anubhav Sharma
  • Lucy Newnham
  • Elizabeth Warrick
  • Anne-Marie Weijmans
  • Catherine A. Witherspoon
  • Nathan Wolthuis
  • Zheng Zheng