The VLA, The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and New Mexico | I am New Mexico

The VLA, The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and New Mexico

“The Very Large Array”

One of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consisting 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 in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km across. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or Very Large Array (VLA), is an international collaboration to develop a world-class telescope composed of a group of 64 radio-telescope antennas that will work together to study the universe from a site in the foothills of Chile’s Andes Mountains.

Photo: I am New Mexico/ Jessica Pacheco-Semenyuk

The VLA location in the Atacama Desert is one of the highest, driest places on Earth, making it ideal for astronomical research at millimeter wavelengths, which are absorbed by atmospheric moisture. The VLA in New Mexico is open every day from 8:30 AM to sunset for free, self guided tours of the VLA and the VLA Visitor Center. The VLA Gift Shop is open daily 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Gift Shop is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day. Leashed pets are welcome on walking tours.

Photo: I am New Mexico/ Jessica Pacheco-Semenyuk

The VLA hosts FREE, 30 minute, Guided Tours on the first Saturday of each month at 11:00a.m., 1:00p.m., and 3:00p.m. No reservations required, simply show up at the VLA Visitor Center 15 or so minutes before the desired tour time. These FREE tours last 30 minutes and take the Visitor to areas behind the scenes at the VLA. In addition, family friendly, hands-on activities are offered from 11:00a.m. thru 3:00p.m. VLA Staff and Volunteers lead these activities and are on hand to answer questions. As seen in many movies (most noticeably Contact & Transformers)
Source (roadtrippers)



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