At the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, visitors can get a firsthand look at how scientists view the galaxy with state-of-the-art equipment, including the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. The GBT is 485 feet tall and weighs in at 17 million pounds, which not only makes it the largest fully steerable telescope on Earth, but also the biggest moving structure on land.
Eighty-five percent of the entire GBT celestial sphere is accessible. Its operation is highly efficient, and it is used for astronomy about 6,500 hours every year, with 2,000 to 3,000 hours per year going to high frequency science. Facilities of the Green Bank Observatory also are used for other scientific research, for many programs in education and public outreach, and for training students and teachers.
The observatory facility offers bus tours, interactive exhibits at the Green Bank Science Center, a cafe and gift shop. The Science Center is 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in the summer, and Thursday to Monday in the fall.
More information is available by calling 304-456-2150.