W.Va. Observatory to Continue Under NSF

The National Science Foundation had been evaluating options for the Green Bank Observatory amid declining funding.

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Green Bank Observatory (Instagram)

GREEN BANK, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's Green Bank Observatory will continue operating under the National Science Foundation.

Green Bank Observatory Director Karen O'Neil announced the foundation's decision in a statement Tuesday.

The foundation had been evaluating options for the observatory, ranging from collaboration with outside partners to continue its science and education mission to demolishing it.

The foundation, which in 2012 provided 95 percent of its funding, has been reducing its financial support. Associated Universities Inc. has operated the observatory since 2016.

O'Neil says the foundation acknowledged the observatory's high scientific value. She says the focus will be to ensure the facility remains competitive, produces high quality science and maximizes access by the U.S. astronomy community.

The observatory includes a 100-meter diameter radio telescope, astronomy and astrophysics instrumentation, office and laboratory buildings, a visitor and education facility and lodging facilities for visiting scientists.

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