Gallery 1 - Astronomical   >   Observatories   >   Green Bank Radio Telescope

Our track on a trip south took us over Green Bank, West Virginia and this famous radio telescope. The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Radio Telescope is 485ft tall, nearly as tall as the nearby mountains

The (GBT) is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope and the world's largest land-based movable structure. We didn't set out to fly to this telescope but thought it was great to come upon it.

One of the interesting things about this place is it has a radio quiet zone of about 13000 square miles. Only police, ambulance and fire department radios are allowed. That means, no cell phones or wireless electronics! Don't know if we could live there but apparently, the area has attracted people who believe they suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

The dish is 100 meters wide and could hold an entire football game! The telescope has a high sensitivity over the wavelength range from 3 mm to 90 cm and can scan a 800 megaHertz range of frequencies simultaneously, which is 300 times the range at Arecibo in Puerto Rico.

Since NASA's Kepler space telescope has identified thousands of possible planets around stars in our galaxy, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming the Green Bank Telescope at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if they can detect signals from an advanced civilization. This telescope was a real treat for us to see.