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From Greenbank to the Galaxy



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From Green Bank to the Galaxy


From Green Bank to the Galaxy
Students from North Carolina gather for a lesson in the Star Lab inflatable planetarium at Green Bank. Senior Education Officer Sue Ann Heatherly explains what to look for in the night sky.

From Green Bank to the GalaxyMore than 50,000 visitors come to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank each year for something they can’t see anywhere else: the world’s largest fully steerable telescope.

“There’s literally nothing like it in the world,” said Sue Ann Heatherly, senior education officer. “We get visitors from as far away as New Zealand who want to see it.”

Tours of the observatory start in the Science Center, which is a 4,000 squarefoot exhibit hall that opened in 2003.

It includes a planetarium and interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. From there, a shuttle bus takes visitors for an up close look at the telescope.

“This is a great family destination,” Heatherly said. “Little kids enjoy the bus ride and once you’re there it’s nice to stroll around and look at the telescope.”

From Green Bank to the Galaxy
High school students from North Carolina take part in a scientific scavenger hunt, solving problems along the way.

The NRAO offers special high-tech tours twice a month. These tours take visitors behind the scenes into the labs, where scientists build receivers for the telescope or work on other projects. Scientists from all over the world apply for a spot in the telescope control room, where it costs 50 cents per second to operate it. Star labs are shown each week in the planetarium.

The NRAO is open seven days a week in the summer. After Labor Day, it is open Thursday through Monday. Operating hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free tours are offered every hour, and admission to the science center is also free.

Learn more at www.gb.nrao.edu.
From Green Bank to the Galaxy

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