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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.
Similar articles: on this topic:
Sky & Telescope – Green Bank Observatory Declares Independence
Pocahontas Times – Green Bank Observatory Plants Seeds for the Future
Astronomy Now – Green Bank Observatory: the making of an American astronomy icon
Other articles are available here.
A few pictures from the inauguration are below, and a link to more will be made available soon.
The first scientific search for intelligent life in the universe began in 1960 at the Green Bank Observatory, in Pocahontas County, with a four-month effort to detect interstellar radio signals from two stars in a relatively nearby constellation.
It continues today, as the observatory’s 300-foot Green Bank Telescope serves as a key component of Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year international search targeting the one million stars nearest Earth as well as the centers of the 100 galaxies closest to our Milky Way.
This summer, the Green Bank Observatory is hosting a series of behind-the-scenes tours allowing visitors to explore the Pocahontas County radio astronomy facility’s pioneering role in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI, for short) and learn about the key part it plays in Breakthrough Listen, the world’s most comprehensive SETI effort, involving a decade-long, $100 million probe that began in January.
Published by The Charleston Gazette. See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160606/GZ07/160609702#sthash.HqqJt6ea.dpuf