“One of the world's premier observatories for radio astronomy”
One of the world's premier observatories for radio astronomy, consists of 27, 25-meter, radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km across. The VLA is open every day from 8:30 AM to sunset. 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. The VLA offers two types of tours, both of which cost $6 ($5 for AAA and veterans). Self-guided, walking tours are available every day during normal operating hours. Guests can walk around the grounds to kiosks with information about the Observatory. Leashed pets are welcome on walking tours. The VLA also hosts guided tours on the first and third 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 tours last 50 minutes, and take the Visitor to areas behind the scenes. 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).
We came across this by accident while heading from Texas to Phoenix. We saw the sign on the Highway and were very excited about it. The place was AMAZING. you can walk right up to one, and they moved while we were there! The gift shop is cool too, we got several fun items, and the people were very friendly to us!
well worth it! and it's free! great information in the self playing movie. they offer guided tour on sat. but we went on a self guided walk and it was fine.
This place is INSANE! The array is absolutely massive and you can see it from so far away! Once you get up close to one of the antenna as well you can see just how large they are!
Was closed today 5/14/21. Tried to get close to get a picture but I didn't make it past the entrance because a Security said it was closed and couldn't go in. So I took a picture from far away which I wasn't able to a close up as I originally planned.
Still closed due to COVID. From their website "To reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus by both our staff and our visitors, the Very Large Array is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC until further notice. NO SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE."
This place was so cool to see! It was closed for tours due to Covid while we were nearby so we opted to go in the evening for sunset. WOW. B/c these satellites are in the middle of the field I got the most beautiful photos. While we were parked we so so much wildlife, too: Field Mice, Deer, Hawks. Amazing.
You may remember the radio astronomy observatory from like every movie where we make contact with aliens. It’s a totally rad road trip stop right in the desert.
We didn't stop as we were in a hurry, but these could be seen from the highway because they are huge and plentiful. Wow!
Still closed due to Covid. Bummer.
If you’re driving through NM to AZ you’ll probably see this weird... thing. The museum was closed so I still don’t know what the Very Large Array is. Kinda cool. Mostly meh, keep driving.
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The Very Large Array
- Sun - Sat: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm
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Good for Adventurers and Cultural travelers.
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