Traveling Across
West Virginia

The Green Bank Science Center

Home >> West Virginia Home Page >> West Virginia Museums

Did You Know
Jokes
Puzzles
Recipes
Tributes

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
DC
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

The Green Bank Science Center
Green Bank Science Center Routes 28/92
Green Bank, West Virginia 24944
Voice: 304-456-2150

Scientists from around the world use the Green Bank Telescope to study virtually all types of astronomical objects known, from planets and comets in our own Solar System to quasars and galaxies billions of light-years away.

Use a spark plug, receiver and spectrum analyzer to approximate Hertz's experiment in which he discovered radio waves. A spark plug is set up to give off a spark when the visitor pushes a button. A receiver positioned at some distance away will audibly register the signal. The spectrum analyzer will show spikes occurring at many different frequencies indicating radio emission.

To illustrate the fundamental similarity of light and radio waves a thunder storm and a radio will be videotaped. When lightning flashes, static is immediately heard on the radio, but the thunder is not heard for some seconds depending on how far away the lightning struck. The static results from the transmission of radio wave traveling at C. The thunder travels at the speed of sound. The visitor will be prompted to predict the order of events before playing the short video segment.

The eye is a natural detector of light. A display may show how the eye works. For other wavelengths of EM radiation different strategies must be developed. Infrared detectors will form the base of this exhibit. Infrared radiation can be sensed by visitors but not "seen". Visitors experiencing how such radiation is detected will draw fairly accurate analogies about how radio astronomy is done.

A wall display of the EM spectrum in wavelength along the x axis and altitude along the y axis, illustrated by a cross section through a landscape from sea level to Mt. Everest will illustrate which wavelengths of energy penetrate to the earth's surface and which must be investigated.

Covered "shoeboxes" will contain objects which can not be identified by sight. The boxes will have a grid of small holes along the top. Children can shake the boxes, and systematically probe the inside with dowels. They can then attempt to match the object in their box to an object in a photograph.

Discover the similarities between visible bright line spectra and radio spectra. The visitor will be guided to equate the Interstellar medium with a combination of rarefied gases like a neon light. Much radio astronomical research is directed toward understanding star forming regions in the ISM.

Astronomers map the neutral hydrogen (HI) in our Galaxy by detecting its spectral line emission at 21 cm. In this exhibit visitors will determine the connection between Doppler shift in spectral lines and velocity measurements. Using real HI radio spectra, visitors will determine the velocity of HI gas toward us and away from us. The rotation of the Milky Way can be inferred. HI spectra of other galaxies show that they are also rotating.

Would you recognize a new phenomenon if you were looking for something else? Visitors will search for the telltale anomalies in data that were noticed by scientists, leading to major discoveries in radio astronomy. Data such as that collected by Jocelyn Bell, which led to the discovery of pulsars, Karl Jansky, which led to the discovery of radio waves from space, and Bernard Burke, which led to the discovery of radio emission from Jupiter will be displayed. The discovery of the binary pulsar for which Joe Taylor and Russ Hulse shared the 1993 Nobel Prize is a recent example. Logbook entries made by then graduate student Russ Hulse reveal a dawning awareness that his data was not in error, but in fact an incredible discovery.



Pictures and information were provided by the Green Bank Science Center

West Virginia Home Page | West Virginia Forts and Battlefields | West Virginia Gardens | West Virginia Historical Buildings | West Virginia Museums
West Virginia Scenic Places | West Virginia Shopping | West Virginia State and National Parks | West Virginia Theme Parks | West Virginia Wineries

About Us | Contact Us | Did You Know Facts | Jokes | Puzzles | Recipes | Suggest a Site | Tributes

Copyright A View of America 1998 all rights reserved any and all content on this site is protected by law. Any use without written permission is strictly prohibited.