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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Address: 50 Miles West of Socorro, NM, Off U.S. Hwy. 60, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: +1 575-835-7243
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95%
Ranked #2 of 10 Attractions in Socorro
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Museums
Owner description: This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio telescope, one of four...
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Attraction details
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Museums
Owner description: This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio telescope, one of four major telescopes operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The VLA is the most scientifically productive ground-based telescope in the world. Our visitor center and interpretive film will get you oriented to the purpose and function of the telescope, and a self-guided tour path will take you up close to one of the VLA's 27 230-ton dish antennas.

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70 reviews from our community

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English first
Jemez Pueblo NM
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
13 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

This remarkable place sits out in the middle of the valley floor. Coming west from Magdalena you will come over a hill and the whole valley is laid out before you with the telescopes sitting out before you. The visitor center is interesting and self guided so you can spend as much time as you wish looking around. The movie... More 

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Cape Coral, Florida
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2015

We intentionally planned the route of our cross country trip to allow for a stop here. With all the major historical sites we took our three teenage sons to, this one really excited them. There really isn't a lot to do there, but it is awesome to see from a distance and close up. Be sure to watch the film... More 

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Silverdale, Washington
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

The drive to the middle of nowhere to see this amazing place was well worth it. I learned so much and had no idea this was part of a worldwide network. I new of it from the movie contact. The lady in the gift shop was very helpful and I enjoyed the walking tour

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New Mexico
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
13 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

Tour the VLA and see how they move the "telescope" around on railroad tracks. This isolated spot is perfect for star gazing too if you happen to be there after dark.

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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
21 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

I've been a science teacher for 13+ years and having taught astronomy to my students, it was a dream come true to actually see VLA. I've showed pictures and taught my kids about this observatory, but to be there, see it, experience it and take pictures of my own it was simply magical! A must if you're in the area!!!

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Wagoner, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

Everyone must visit this site. Even bring the kiddos! There are plenty of things for the kids with interactive displays

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AMARILLO
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

There are 27 dish antennas each about 25 meters in diameter that scan the cosmic skies for unusual discoveries as well as scientific data of the atmosphere and galaxies. This is truly a scientific marvel that has found a home in the vast plains of New Mexico. The movie that gives the most information about the VLA project is about... More 

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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2014

It is just like in the movie Contact. The discs are huge & rather a ballet act as they change position.

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Windsor colo
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16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2014

Amazing setting for exploring the universe. Huge radio telescopes on rail road lines. Fantastic photo opportunities.

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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
16 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

This was our second visit here in 10 years. I was just as amazed as I was 10 years ago of the technology. It is good to see our government upgrade existing technology rather than scrap it. The exhibits can take you as deep into the technology as you want to go. They are designed for the novice and expert... More 

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