One part of my recent bus tour was a stop at Green Bank, West Virginia to vist the Radio Astronomy Observatory. Well, well, well, I am thinking to myself... who gives a toot about this huge satelite dish sitting out in the middle of nowhere!! I am not a star-gazer nor am I worried about aliens from outer space. However I did find it very interesting and I'd like to share my photos and info with you. Who knows, maybe you will take a trip there to see for yourself.
There are several smaller telescopes on the premises, closer to the visitors center.
But, there in the distance, framed by the surrounding mountains, sits the BIG GBT (that's Green Bank Telescope). That was what we were there to see.
This doesn't look like a regular telescope like school kids use to look at bugs but more like a tv satelite dish on steroids!! It's the world's largest moveable object, being 485' tall, the size of two side by side football fields and .... hold on to your hats.... it weighs 17 million pounds. Now, that's a big telescope!!
Astronomers from around the world come to unlock secrets of the universe. They view the planets and comets in our own solar system and quasars and galaxies that are billions of light years away.
This Observatory sits in Deer Creek Valley, a site chosen for low interference, it being in a 13,000 square mile radio quiet zone. No radio transmitters of any kind are allowed in the area closest to GBT. We took our photos from a distance, then loaded onto a bus to drive by.
We were told that some workers were tempting to repair some panels on the huge reflecting surface, and using some choice words when things weren't going to suit them. Soon a call from a church in a nearby town came to the center. Their words were being transmitted farther than they intended!!
It was a fascinating place. I wonder if they have ever seen ETs and just not told us....
So happy to link this to OUR WORLD TUESDAY and OUTDOORS WEDNESDAY