One Very Large Array

Very large array dish

Our route from Bosque to Flagstaff took us along US Route 60. We had started seeing signs for a Very Large Array back on I-25 south of Albuquerque and had no idea what or where it was.

The VLA comprises twenty-eight 25-meter radio telescopes (27 of which are operational while one is always rotating through maintenance) deployed in a Y-shaped array and all the equipment, instrumentation, and computing power to function as an interferometer. Each of the massive telescopes is mounted on double parallel railroad tracks, so the radius and density of the array can be transformed to adjust the balance between its angular resolution and its surface brightness sensitivity.

We didn’t take the time to stop and visit but after learning more I wish a we had. There’s a visitor center… maybe next time.