On August 25, 2000, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope was dedicated at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Pocahontas County. At 16-million pounds, it’s the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Its accuracy is so precise it’s like seeing the width of a human hair from six feet away. The telescope’s 2,004 panels are mounted on actuators, little motor-driven pistons that adjust the shape of the surface.
The telescope replaced an earlier 300-foot meridian transit telescope that operated from 1961 until collapsing in 1988.