From NRAO: “NRAO Structural Changes: Announcing the Separation of the Green Bank Observatory and the Long Baseline Observatory”

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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

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3.24.16
Tony Beasley (NRAO Director) and Ethan Schreier (AUI President)

On 20 November 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) selected Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) to manage the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) through a new 10-year cooperative agreement. The new agreement includes the operation of the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), the North American share of the international Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and NRAO’s development laboratories and administrative and management functions, effective 1 October 2016.

NRAO/VLA
NRAO/VLA

ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array

The Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), which were recommended for divestment several years ago, will exit NRAO and become independent facilities known as the Green Bank Observatory (GBO), with Karen O’Neil as its director, and the Long Baseline Observatory (LBO), with Walter Brisken as its director. Pending submission, review, and approval of a supplemental funding request, AUI will continue managing each under a separate cooperative agreement for the next two years, while NSF decides the long-term future of these facilities.

GBO
GBO

LBO
LBO

This new arrangement has a number of advantages, and provides the needed independence and flexibility for GBO and LBO to continue to serve the national and international science communities while actively building new partnerships. Looking to the future, NRAO will work closely with its users and the broader scientific community to identify, develop, and effectively deploy new capabilities across a broader range of discovery space in combination with GBO and LBO.

Observing proposal submission, science operations, and user support for the GBT and VLBA science communities will continue unchanged in the near term as NSF and AUI explore details and options for the Fiscal Year 2017 launch of the GBO and LBO.

We look forward to the continued success of NRAO and the new opportunities GBO and LBO bring to the astronomy community.

See the full article here .

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The NRAO operates a complementary, state-of-the-art suite of radio telescope facilities for use by the scientific community, regardless of institutional or national affiliation: the Very Large Array (VLA), the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)*.

ALMA Array

NRAO ALMA

NRAO GBT
NRAO GBT

NRAO VLA
NRAO VLA

The NRAO is building two new major research facilities in partnership with the international community that will soon open new scientific frontiers: the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA). Access to ALMA observing time by the North American astronomical community will be through the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC).
*The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) comprises ten radio telescopes spanning 5,351 miles. It’s the world’s largest, sharpest, dedicated telescope array. With an eye this sharp, you could be in Los Angeles and clearly read a street sign in New York City!

Astronomers use the continent-sized VLBA to zoom in on objects that shine brightly in radio waves, long-wavelength light that’s well below infrared on the spectrum. They observe blazars, quasars, black holes, and stars in every stage of the stellar life cycle. They plot pulsars, exoplanets, and masers, and track asteroids and planets.