Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank

4.8
#2 of 29 in Things to do in Pocahontas County
Observatory · Science Museum
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The Green Bank Science Center's windows look out at the world's largest fully steerable telescope (the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope), which can catch radio waves from objects billions of light years away--night or day, rain or shine.

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Green Bank Observatory reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
281 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This is definitely a "do not miss". My husband and I spent a week in West Virginia and this was on our list along with many natural wonders in the state. We took the tour--changed somewhat due to... 
    This is definitely a "do not miss". My husband and I spent a week in West Virginia and this was on our list along with many natural wonders in the state. We took the tour--changed somewhat due to...  more »
  • It is hard to miss the absolutely massive satellite dish as you are driving down the road. We did not even know that this site was there when we planned our vacation. We were driving and saw it on... 
    It is hard to miss the absolutely massive satellite dish as you are driving down the road. We did not even know that this site was there when we planned our vacation. We were driving and saw it on...  more »
Google
  • Absolutely wonderful tour. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and able to answer all my questions in detail in a format much more digestible than just reading a Wikipedia article. Meanwhile, the Science Center is obviously geared towards kids, but it was still neat to see concepts such as spectroscopy as tangible things.
  • I throughly enjoyed my time here, and everyone was incredibly friendly! A couple things I wish I had known first: 1) You are allowed to bring your phone into the visitors center. The entire building is a giant Faraday cage, so your phone won’t interfere with the telescopes. They even have plug-in Internet so you can use the Internet inside. 2) They have one viewing area set up to allow you to take pictures with your phone. Just make sure to leave it on airplane mode when you’re within a few miles of the observatory, and you must leave it in your car before going anywhere near the telescopes. 3) You don’t have to be in a tour group to get near the telescopes; they have a bunch of hiking trails all over the observatory grounds. That said, the guides are very nice, and they don’t have a lot of interpretive signs, so you’ll need a tour to get the full story. Trust me, it’s worth it. 4) If you want pictures, you must bring a film camera or a disposable camera without any electronic components. Even a camera with flash can interfere with the research being conducted here. If you forget to bring a suitable camera, though, you can buy a disposable camera in the gift shop. I highly recommend heading over if you get the chance! It’s absolutely incredible, and the telescopes are mind-bogglingly massive. The Robert C. Byrd Telescope is taller than the Statue of Liberty, and the dish is big enough to fit an entire football stadium, making it one of the biggest moving objects in the world!

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