GREEN BANK, W.V. (WVNS) – The Green Bank Telescope right here in West Virginia will be NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on February 23, 2022.

The picture was taken by local photographer David Green, of Crab Orchard. According to Green, above the telescope, Barnard’s Loop, the Horsehead, Lambda Orionis, and more can be seen.

The APOD will be posted online and on all of NASA‘s social media platforms. The NASA APOD webpage has the picture named “Green Orion”.

Photo credit: David Green, Crab Orchard, WV

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Radio Telescope has a diameter of 100 meters. The photographer of the APOD, David Green talks about his experience capturing the Orion Constellation nearby. According to him, It’s so big that an entire football field would fit inside of it.

“It’s a beast! I set up a mile away in the observatory parking lot on a cold -5° night to capture the Orion Constellation set on the giant satellite. In the sky you can see Barnard’s Loop, the Horsehead, Orion, Lambda Orionis, and more. The sky was imaged with a modified Canon t3i on a small sky tracker at 50mm. “Modified” sounds more technical than it is. I took the camera apart and broke pieces out! The filters that come stock in a digital camera that prevent issues like red eyes also prevent the camera from recording the red hydrogen alpha in the night sky. The red structures are nebulous regions of our Milky Way where stars are forming. I would consider this as my first “deepscape” image (deep space object in a landscape). I planned for it a couple months. I used Google Earth, PhotoPills, Stellarium, and Telescopius to prepare. I wasn’t exactly sure how close my calculations were, but the time-lapse I recently posted shows Orion setting over the dish. Orion landed exactly where and when I expected. Very “cool” night!”

David Green, Crab Orchard, WV

According to the Green Bank Observatory’s website, the first trailblazers of American radio astronomy called Green Bank Observatory home over 60 years ago, and even today, their legacy is alive and well.

Tucked in the mountains and farmland of West Virginia, within the National Quiet Zone, radio astronomers are listening to the remote whispers of the universe, in order to discover answers to our most astounding astronomical questions.