Revealing the Invisible Universe

Radio waves are simply another band -- or range of color -- of light. While stars shine most brightly at optical wavelengths, they also shine across the spectrum, including radio waves. Other objects, like star-forming clouds, emit little to any visible light, though they shine brightly in radio light.


In the News!

Our cutting-edge telescopes are used to make new, radio discoveries every day, by penetrating through the dust and clouds of galaxies that obscures visible light.



Interactively learn about our Universe, our telescopes, and the people who make it all possible.

Image of the Week:

Smith's Cloud

A false-color image of Smith's Cloud made with data from the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). It was named after the astronomer who discovered it in 1963, and it contains enough hydrogen to make a million stars like the Sun. Eleven thousand light-years long and 2,500 light-years wide, it is only 8,000 light-years from our Galaxy's disk. It is careening toward our Galaxy at more than 150 miles per second, aimed to strike the Milky Way's disk at an angle of about 45 degrees. It's comet-like shape is due to its interaction with the very outer gases of our Galaxy. It will be stretched apart before it finally hits the denser parts of the Milky Way in 40 million years.
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