Gigantic new telescope to unlock secrets of the universe

August 17, 2000

On August 25, 2000, we invite you to join in the celebration and help us open an exciting new window on the Universe. On that date, the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Associated Universities, Inc., will dedicate the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope, the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

A slate of media activities is planned, including a tour conducted inside the GBT itself, and a guided tour of the many historic telescopes at the site. There will be two chances to take the media tour, once at 10:00 a.m. and again at 3:00 p.m.

Media representatives are invited to attend an 11:30 a.m. luncheon, along with NRAO staff and other guests. R.S.V.P.s for the luncheon will be appreciated. Please contact Ms. Shirley Curry, at 304-456-2240, or at scurry@nrao.edu.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. It will feature a keynote address by U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D. - W.Va.), whose support was critical for the construction of this new telescope, and remarks from Dr. Rita R. Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin is also scheduled to speak.

Press kits will be available on Monday, August 21. Please contact us to request one by overnight shipment. The kits will also be distributed at the event. A GBT media website, with maps, driving directions, fact sheets, and high-resolution images for download is available at: http://www.nrao.edu/news/gbtdedication.shtml

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
-end-
NOTE TO PRODUCERS: Video News Release and b-roll (total running time = 5 min.) to be broadcast by satellite on Monday, August 21, 2000; 14:00-15:00 Hrs (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Eastern Time; GE2 Transponder 6; 85 degrees West, downlink frequency: 3820 Horizontal. Betacam tapes will be available for overnight shipment. The VNR script is be available on-line at: http://www.nrao.edu/pr/gbt.vnrscript.html

Contact:
Rebecca Johnson
NRAO Public Information Officer
804-296-0323; rjohnson@nrao.edu
After Aug. 23: 304-456-2011

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

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