Glenda's Adventures with Daisy 2006-07 travel blog

Very Large Array radio astronomy telescope antenna

Several VLA antennas


Today was a very full day, even though I drove only 217 miles. I made several stops between San Antonio and Grants. My first stop was in Socorro where I found a small church to attend. I arrived early enough to change clothes. As soon as I stepped out of my motorhome, a couple who had just driven into the lot greeted me. After church they invited me to have lunch with them at K-Bob's and then insisted that they pay for it. Thus, my day got off to a great start.

From Socorro I traveled west on US 60 about 50 miles to the Plains of San Agustin to see the Very Large Array (VLA) Radio Telescope, which is operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The VLA consists of 27 giant dish-shaped antennas (82 feet in diameter) which are connected together to form a single radio telescope. Each antenna collects incoming radio signals and sends them to a central location where they are combined. This allows the VLA to make detailed pictures of extremely faint objects in the sky. The antennas are placed in a Y pattern with each arm of the Y being 13 miles long. The antennas are 94 feet tall when pointed straight up. So you thought your TV dish antenna was big, eh?

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