Very Large Array

One of the major sites that I’ve always wanted to visit has been the Very Large Array in New Mexico… and in the summer of 2016 I made it there!  What an incredible trip full of majestic barren scenery, incredible painted horizons and once again an incredible island of extremely high technology and engineering in the middle of nowhere.  Visiting the VLA is not an easy task, I think the trip I made to the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico was actually easier!

The VLA is located near Socorro, NM., which isn’t too far away from ROSWELL!!  So if you do go, I highly encourage you to stay the night in Roswell and have fun with all the alien themed activities.  The VLA is about 3 hours from Roswell, so you need to get your timing right.  Leave in the morning and get to the VLA around lunch perhaps so that you have time for the tour.  I got there pretty late and caught the last tour right before a gigantic rain storm rolled in across the desert…

https://public.nrao.edu/tours/visitvla

Here’s some info from trip advisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28952-d1405107-Reviews-Very_Large_Array-New_Mexico.html

There is really no where to stay near the VLA, it is truly only available to the staff.  Many people commute there from the local rural towns about 30 miles away, you might find something there but don’t plan on it.  Socorro has spots to stay and food, but Roswell is where you’ll find the bigger name hotels and more life, alien or not.

 

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Scruffy face at an amazing space place…

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A picture from the control room that is available on the tour. It is pretty small actually, if you remember the movie Contact, this was NOT the control room they used, the movie use a purpose built prop control room…

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One of the on-site researchers who lives at the observatory will answer your questions, including the one about what happens when the dishes fill up with snow… Turns out they simply lower the angle and shake them out.. No joke!

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One of the dishes is being moved on its track into the maintenance building…



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