Good luck using your cell phone here!

Did you know the United States enforces strict limits on the placement and broadcast power of cell phone towers and other transmitters in over 13,000 square miles in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia?  It’s true!

Why this National Radio Quiet Zone?  It’s to assist the Green Bank Telescope that searches the radio universe for targets like star-forming clumps of gas.  Being fascinated by all things having to do with outer space, I went to visit once and was thrilled when one of the giant telescope dishes actually began to move, slowly and majestically, as I watched.  I don’t know what they were aiming it at, but I felt as though I was part of the exploration.

Green bank telescope

Evidently the Naval Information Operations Command is nearby and is used by the N.S.A. to intercept international communications, so they also need peace and quiet.

Interestingly, people who believe they suffer from sensitivity to electromagnetic fields like living there as well.

I’ll bet their cell phone signal is really weak though!


2 responses to “Good luck using your cell phone here!

  1. This is fascinating! I’ve read some info on radio astronomy and they also listen for possible transmissions from space by aliens….(cue Twilight Zone music here).

  2. Roni, how cool would it be if they heard alien music! I love thinking about stuff like this.

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