Green Bank, West Virginia

Coordinates: 38°25′12″N 79°49′53″W / 38.42000°N 79.83139°W / 38.42000; -79.83139
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Green Bank
Green Bank is located in West Virginia
Green Bank
Green Bank
Location within the state of West Virginia
Coordinates: 38°25′12″N 79°49′53″W / 38.42000°N 79.83139°W / 38.42000; -79.83139
CountryUnited States
StateWest Virginia
 • Total3.276 sq mi (8.48 km2)
 • Land3.276 sq mi (8.48 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
 • Total141
 • Density43/sq mi (17/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes

Green Bank is a census-designated place in Pocahontas County in West Virginia's Potomac Highlands inside the Allegheny Mountain Range. Green Bank is located along WV 28. Green Bank is home to the Green Bank Observatory and is also close to the Snowshoe Mountain ski resort. As of the 2020 census, its population was 141.[3]

The community was named for a green riverbank near the original town site.[4]

National Radio Quiet Zone[edit]

Green Bank is located within the National Radio Quiet Zone, which means that radio transmissions are heavily restricted by law.[5] This policy is enforced by a "radio policeman" who uses specialized equipment to detect signals from unauthorized electronics.[6] Green Bank is home to the Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope, which was operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) until September 30, 2016. Since October 1, 2016, the Telescope has been operated by the Green Bank Observatory, which is no longer part of the NRAO. It was at the Green Bank Site in 1961 that Frank Drake presented the Drake Equation, which was developed to provide an estimate of the total number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.

As Green Bank is located within the National Radio Quiet Zone, many people who believe they suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, a disputed medical condition, are finding new homes within its borders.[7] Escape from cellular radiation is the main attraction to Green Bank for these people. As of 2013, around 30 people had moved to Green Bank to escape the supposed effects of electromagnetic hypersensitivity.[8]

Notable person[edit]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  3. ^ "Green Bank CDP, West Virginia - Census Bureau Profile". Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  4. ^ Kenny, Hamill (1945). West Virginia Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains. Piedmont, WV: The Place Name Press. p. 282.
  5. ^ Winter, Damon; Kennedy, Pagan (June 21, 2019). "Opinion | The Land Where the Internet Ends". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Silence! Scientists are listening to the universe". Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Jane; Danzico, Matt (September 12, 2011). "'Wi-fi refugees' shelter in West Virginia mountains". BBC News. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  8. ^ Fisher, Kristin (February 27, 2013). "Wireless Refugees: 'Cell Phones, WiFi Making Us Sick'". WUSA Channel 9 (transcript of television news feature). Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013.

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