News Picks : Funding issues may force closure of US telescopes
29 January 2014
Nature: The future of 10 telescopes funded by NSF is up in the air. Budget constraints are forcing agency officials to weigh the costs of maintaining established facilities against the funding of new instruments. One of the telescopes facing possible closure is the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, the world’s largest steerable radio telescope. Known for its wide range of wavelengths, high angular resolution, and ability to scan 85% of the sky, the GBT is the “best pulsar telescope in the world,” says Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which operates the GBT. Nevertheless, NSF says that to keep the GBT open it will need partners to fund at least half the annual running cost.