On the weekend of April 12 through April 14, eight Scouts from Troop 211 and two from Pack 211 along with six leaders from the troop/pack traveled to the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, W.Va.
While there, the Boy Scouts completed their Astronomy merit badge and the Cub Scouts completed their Adventures in Science Webelos requirements. Activities the Scouts worked on at Green Bank included observing and recording data collected on a 40-foot radio telescope that the Scouts learned to operate and used for data collection, testing items in the Visitor’s Center for radio interference and identified several constellations in the Northern Hemisphere spring sky.
The Scouts also learned the differences between optical astronomy and radio astronomy along with interference that can affect either branch (weather, light pollution, radio pollution such as cell phone signals or spark plugs in car engines).
Green Bank Observatory is home to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. The GBT was completed in 2000 and is taller (485 feet) than the Statue of Liberty (151 feet tall).