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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 11 things to do 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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71 reviews from our community

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English first
T
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015

The VLA (very large array) has been in quite a few films the most famous was with Jodie Foster in "Contact" . Do not expect a Smithsonian type visitors center but it is well down with a small gift shop and an auditorium with seating for about 30. The documentary is about 20 minutes and very informative. It is located... More 

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Jemez Pueblo NM
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
13 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 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
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 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
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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
63 reviews 63 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
48 helpful votes 48 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
3 helpful votes 3 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
11 helpful votes 11 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
Contributor
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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