Could you imagine living or working in an area without WiFi, where gas and electric vehicles are not allowed, and cell phones, digital cameras, fitness watches, and computers have to be kept off? Also, forget trying to use the microwave and other electronics, it’s strictly prohibited.
Welcome to the Green Bank Observatory. Located in Green Bank, WV, the quietest town in America.
Located in the National Radio Quiet Zone in Green Bank, West Virginia, the Green Bank Observatory hosts the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Touring Green Bank Observatory
I had first heard of the Green Bank Observatory in a documentary about those who claim to have Electro Hypersensitivity were moving to that area due to the fact that WiFi is not allowed.
While we were in West Virginia visiting my Mom, I knew I had to take Clayton (an aspiring Astrophysics) to see it.
We purchased our tour tickets online to make sure we had spots. At the time (Summer of 2021) covid restrictions were still in place and bus tours had been shut down and instead replaced by a guided walking tour.
We were allowed to have our electronics with us (in airplane mode) until we reached the gate of the restricted area where even gasoline filed vehicles aren’t allowed (only diesel).
Once through the gate, we continued our tour where we learned more about the history of the Green Bank Observatory, the different telescopes and what makes this area a prime spot for creating a National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ).
Our last stop on the tour was to see the gigantic Green Bank Telescope (GBT). While I could not take a picture next to it, I was able to get a picture from about a mile away.
The dish alone is 100×110 meters in diameter or approximately 328×360 feet in diameter. It stands 485 feet tall and weighs 17 Million pounds!!!! In other words, it is one big beast!
About the National Radio Quiet Zone
The NRQZ is bounded by NAD-83 meridians of longitude at 78d 29m 59.0s W and 80d 29m 59.2s W and latitudes of 37d 30m 0.4s N and 39d 15m 0.4s N, and encloses a land area of approximately 13,000 square miles near the state border between Virginia and West Virginia.
More Information about the Green Bank Observatory
155 Observatory Rd
Green Bank, WV 24944
Open to the Public: Thursday-Monday 9:30 am-5:30 pm; Closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.
Tours: Tours are offered on open days at 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00
$5-$40 per person depending on the tour
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