• Green Bank, an American town in West Virginia, is dubbed the country's most quietest.
  • The town is home to the world's largest steerable telescope.
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellphones are forbidden to prevent interference with the telescope.
  • The area is similar to the location of the MeerKAT radio telescope in SA's Karoo desert.

Switching your cellphone off in this American town is mandatory.

Green Bank is located in the state of West Virginia, a smack dab in the middle of the 33,670 square-kilometre stretch of land otherwise known as the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ).

The area is home to the largest steerable telescope in the world — the Green Bank Telescope is 0.80 hectares wide and reaches 147 metres in to the sky.

The largest steerable telescope in the world in Green Banks, West Virginia. (Wikipedia)

Scientists conduct searches of the galaxies for signals weaker than billionths of a watt at the facility. However stray beacons can cause interference in the telescope's range and readings.

See also: New, mesmerising drone footage shows just how big SA’s new R4 billion radio telescope is

What does this mean for the area's population? No Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellphones.

Photo SKA South Africa

The town resembles the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in the Karoo desert of South Africa — which comprises 131,500 hectares of land, with 176 telescopes. The SKA site also needs to be free from radio-frequency interference. 

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