Call Me Stormy

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Big Dish Might Get Dissed

A fight is brewing to save the world’s largest steerable radio telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia. The Green Bank Telescope operates under the auspices of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, but a committee appointed by the National Science Foundation has recommended the facility be decommissioned in 2017. Saving money is a factor but so is the rise of radio-array telescopes that might render this last remaining vestige of single-dish big science obsolete. Still, residents of Green Bank and West Virginia politicians are gearing up to stop the closure. They want the telescope to remain intact, even though its presence places certain burdens on the community. For instance, for the telescope to properly read signals from space, cell phone and microwave oven usage is forbidden or restricted in a 13,000 square mile zone flanking Green Bank. Vice reports.

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