• Very Large Array - Socorro, New Mexico

      radio telescopes
      Photo by John Fowler
      If you've seen certain science fiction films like "Contact" then the image of the Very Large Array is already familiar to you. The VLA is indeed a very large radio astronomy site operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. It consists of 27 radio telescopes, each 82 feet wide, that can be moved on their tracks to place the instruments in different configurations at different times of the year. For a nominal fee, you can take a self-guided tour of the facility any day of the week. Guided tours are offered on the first Saturday of the month. A fascinating visit to an awe-inspiring facility with a very helpful and informative staff.

      If you go:
      Although the official address is listed as Socorro, the VLA is actually located about 50 miles from there, on the Plains of San Agustin between Magdalena and Datil. Bring a snack, as there is no food available, and be prepared for chilly weather until about April, and of course heat during the summer. You are welcome to take photos, but bear in mind that your phone must be left in airplane mode.


      U.S. Highway 60
      Socorro, New Mexico 87825 USA

      Mailing address:
      P.O. Box O
      Socorro, NM 87801 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      +1 (575) 835-7000