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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

1003 Lopezville Road, Socorro, NM 87801
(575) 835-7243
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Ranked #2 of 9 Attractions in Socorro
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
Traveler Description: The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is the world's premier radio telescope facillity, used by astronomers throughout the year to make the most... more »
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Jupiter, Florida
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

The NRAO and VLA is a great place to stop if you are traveling through New Mexico. This is where parts of the movie "Contact" were filmed and it is a great place to get an education on Radio Astronomy. Take your camera!

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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2014

This area is 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico, but is well worth the time it takes to drive to the site. The visitor center and the displays inside are interesting as well as informative. The walking tour takes you to a radio sundial which is one of the most fascinating, scientific things I have ever seen. And being... More

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18 reviews 18 reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

We like science and technology so were very interested in the VLA radio telescope. Great visitor center and self-guided walking tour. You can get right up to the base of one of the huge receivers. It's way out in the middle of nowhere but worth the visit -- just be prepared for a 45-minute drive from Socorro.

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Moscow, Idaho
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

This is the NSF Business location. The actual array is an hour west of this location. There's nothing to see here at the business building.

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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
14 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Although still in operation, it has the feeling of passing the golden years, as the rest of the space program. There is still some reserach going on listening to intergalactic radio signals...perhaps to listen to the spacecraft coming to rescues those ETs that alledgedly crashed in nearby Roswell. Second visit since I have friends that never been there before.

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So Cal
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
35 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

We didn't take the tour, and assumed that there was a holiday closing at the visitor center. There is a nice parking area on the main road to Socorro where good photos are waiting to be taken.

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Cedar Crest, New Mexico
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
25 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

Parts of the Jodie Foster movie were filmed here at this location on the high plains of western New Mexico. One can take a walking tour around a huge radio antenna & also enjoy the museum w/ video presentation.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

OK, what's a radioastronomy large base line array got to do with Pronghorn Antelope? It's the VLA hosts the largest herd of Pronghorn in NM (~35 animals). We came away with a ton of photos and video clips of them close up (they are habituated to people quite well we discovered). Not only was the visitor center and exhibit probably... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
348 reviews 348 reviews
93 attraction reviews
195 helpful votes 195 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

We’d seen the VLA from the highway a few years back and decided that when the opportunity came we’d go there and check it out. It is quite other-worldly looking with the huge antennas poking into the air and pointing into the heavens. We stopped part way in to snap a couple of pictures and as I was walking back... More

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Plano, Texas
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
34 attraction reviews
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

Whether you like astronomy, technology or just enjoyed the VLA (Very Large Array) scenes in the SciFi movie, 'Contact,' this is a really interesting place. You'll learn about how the data is used and you can walk around outside and go up to one of the dishes.

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