Socorro, NM – VLA (Very Large Arrays)


If anyone has ever seen the movie “Contact” you can remember seeing these VLA’s! Some info from the VLA web site…

The Very Large Array, one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.

It was one cool location I always wanted to see. The drive is about 126 miles from Albuquerque – one way! A very dry looking drive and you go thru some small & poor towns. When you arrive to the VLA’s…they are easy to spot in the distance as you drive in. There is a welcome center where you can watch some videos and a shop to buy some collectibles. Here you can buy a pass for the guided tour. I was solo this day and went it alone. They have walkways to follow and one takes you directly right below a VLA! Quite a sight to see!! Workers in trucks were very friendly and always asked if I had any questions. So very nice! I stayed for about an hour taking lots of shots. Unfortunately, you are not able to walk all over…just certain locations…but enough to get great photos!

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