Question: How does the Green Bank telescope work? Is it really important for the Green Bank Telescope to be located in the national radio quiet zone for his operation? Why?
Which are the most important discoveries through this telescope? – Antonio
Answer: As the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is a fully-steerable radio telescope it functions just like other radio telescopes. You can find a nice description of how a radio telescope works at the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) “How Does a Radio Telescope Work” site. The National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) was established in 1958 to minimize possible harmful interference to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, WV and the radio receiving facilities for the United States Navy in Sugar Grove, WV. Because the NRAO GBT conducts astronomical measurements at frequencies which are also used by various communications systems which can potentially interfere with the GBT’s astronomical observations, the NRQZ protects the GBT from these other communications systems by restricting their use within the NRQZ. For a list of recent discoveries made by the GBT see NRAO’s GBT discoveries page for more information.