|The Green Bank Telescope is used by astronomers world-wide to answer profound astronomical questions like: How old is the Universe? How are stars and planets formed? What are blackholes? Are we alone? The ability to collect data to answer these questions and more depends on the environment around the telescopes.
Wireless technologies, like broadcast towers and even your cell phone or computer create radio signals that can completely swamp the tiny signals coming from the cosmos.
The National Radio Quiet Zone (shown in orange above) protects us from signals broadcast by fixed commercial transimitters like cellphone towers, but we also depend on you to turn off your wireless devices while on site. This includes cell phones (which don't work here anyway!), wireless odometers, heart rate monitors, or wireless network cards on your laptops.
We recommend that you buy a phone card (you can buy them online) and we have a public computer lab where you can email or facebook your familiy and friends!
Want to know more? Check out the cool article and awesome photos from Wired Magazine.