WVU’s Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology (GWAC) addresses cutting-edge astrophysics problems that can be solved most effectively through interdisciplinary collaboration across physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering. The Center explores the origins of the universe and the fundamental processes involved in galaxy formation, stellar evolution, and star formation. Our innovative research is employed through strategic partnerships within the state of WV, such as the Green Bank Observatory in Pocahontas County, WV.
The Center counts on passionate, loyal and caring members of the Mountaineer family, like you, to provide important foundational opportunities for our researchers and students while furthering our outreach efforts in our greater WVU community and beyond. Outreach highlights include:
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) is an out-of-school-time citizen science outreach project which involves for high-school and community college students and their teachers in the search for new pulsars with the Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope , aged 13 and up. The PSC is a partnership program between West Virginia University, GWAC, and the Green Bank Observatory and that involves students and teachers in the search for new pulsars with the Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope. This program has involved over 2,000 high-school students and over 100 high-school teachers in 18 states at over 140 schools. These students have discovered seven pulsars, including one millisecond pulsar and one rare double neutron star binary!
The WV Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT) program involves training undergraduate students at universities and colleges throughout the state to give presentations and demonstrations at West Virginia’s K-12 schools about our Center’s research. The SPOT program and inspires an appreciation of STEM careers in K-12 students and provides undergraduates with valuable public speaking experience. Last year, these talks reached nearly 3,000 students in ten states.
- $50 provides housing costs for a PSC student to visit WVU for our Capstone event
- $100 provides housing costs for a PSC student to attend our pulsar camp at the Green Bank Observatory
- $250 provides time for a PSC student to confirm a candidate pulsar discovery on the Green Bank Telescope
- $500 provides travel costs for an out-of-state PSC student to attend our Capstone or pulsar camp
- $1,000 provides Green Bank Telescope time for exploratory programs
As an amateur astronomer, student, family member of a researcher, corporate donor, philanthropist, or simply friend of the Center, we will honor your support and find creative ways to make each gift, no matter the amount, make the most impact within our mission.