Space, The Final Frontier – These are the Voyages of the Fuzzship Tigerprise

Space, The Final Frontier – These are the Voyages of the Fuzzship Tigerprise

At first glance –  you see this picture of my (lovely if I do say so myself) Tiger and think Okay, it another picture of her (lovely if you do say so yourself) Tiger. But look closer, my darling.

County Road 66 Green Bank Telescope


Green Bank Telescope Farm


Green Bank Radio Telescope

That is the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory across the valley. It kind of looks like it just fell out of space into that bucolic setting, doesn’t it?

Apparently it is the largest of its kind. It spans 100 meters across the dish.

Now, if you’re metrically challenged – like me – you have no idea what that means. But, thanks to the little elves that tirelessly work inside my computer, I can break it down for you. That’s 328 feet across. Or in layman’s terms: f’n huge.

Little old me in a big world
Little old me in a big world

I’ve seen the telescope a couple times before when coming across WV66. Even so, there is a sense of amazement each time. On the approach out of the mountains I am immediately reminded of the movie Contact with Jodie Foster, specifically that first moment that you get a glimpse of the machine that was built. Not because the telescope looks like it but because it gives that same strange juxtaposition of something tremendous and inherently man made in a pristine natural setting where it seems that it doesn’t belong.

It is one part startling, one part fascinating, one part beautiful, one part curious. And one part unsettling. Okay, that may be a couple parts too many but we’ve already established that I’m not so good with the maths.

It’s just beautiful.

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26 Replies to “Space, The Final Frontier – These are the Voyages of the Fuzzship Tigerprise”

  1. Personally I love the fact that it looks like you’re carrying a barn on the bike of the Triumph.

    Truthfully though, the juxtaposition of nature and science/technology is always a beautiful site to see. Reminds me of the first time I spotted giant windmills spanning and devouring an entire landscape.

    1. You and I must be on the same wavelength – i thought the same thing about the barn! 😆

      I love seeing giant wind turbines too. There is something graceful and mesmerizing about them.

  2. You find the coolest things and write about them in the most entertaining prose. Your blog should be declared a national treasure.

    I was going to mention your carrying the barn on your rack, but Andrew and you covered that already.

    I loved the novel “Contact” (Carl Sagan) and reluctantly enjoyed the movie. As much as I like Jodie, adding romance where none belongs and putting beefcake (Matthew) where none is necessary distracted from the fascinating scientific and philosophical aspects of the story.

    1. I actually have the book from a yard sale. Haven’t read it yet. I guess I should get on that! …right after I get done filling out this National Treasure application 😉

  3. Wow, that thing is huge. That is more than three football fields.

    I like your Fuzzship Tigerprise. Very creative.

    And now you need a top case that looks like a barn. That would really confuse people.

  4. Love it! I just wrote about wind turbines this week, too. It must be the week for Big Creepy Awesome Techie Stuff In The Middle Of Nowhere ™.

  5. Great pics Fuzzy. We have a massive radio telescope here in Australia – have you seen “The Dish”… If not its a great Aussie movie about our role in beaming the moon landing pics around in the world in 1969.

    Love the barn on the back of your bike!!

  6. I love the l’il ole you pic! I, too, am metrically challenged, so you have my sympathies. I’ll get to Green Bank one day…

    1. It’s so strange to me that in many ways the dish is “hidden” unless you’re looking across the valley from that spot. I’ve never done the tour so if you do – please share!

  7. I to love the barn on the back of the bike shot, I actually thought that was what you were trying to point out at first. Yep we have one of those in Aus (as Anthony pointed out) I recently visited it and posted about it. Kinda freaky that you did this one not much later. How does that Twilight Zone music go ….

  8. Someone told me that was down there somewhere and I never came across it in my travels. Though you never know I could have just riden right past it.

  9. As somebody that has interest in Motorcycles and Astronomy that’s a really cool picture and story to go with it. Admittedly I never saw Contact, but I did read the book. For those that don’t know, it was written by Carl Sagan. This is my first visit to your site, but I’ve subscribed to the feed. I like your content so far. BTW, I really dig the Triumph….it’s on my list of possible next motorcycles!!

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