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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

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Address: 50 Miles West of Socorro, NM, Off U.S. Hwy. 60, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: +1 575-835-7243
Website
Description: This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical...
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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A good place to take a break from driving on US 60

Note that the VLA radiotelescopes are on the plains of Saint Augustine, about 60 miles west of Socorro. The mapped location is for the array operation center on the New Mexico... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 25, 2015
Brian B
,
Socorro, New Mexico
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77 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Socorro, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

Note that the VLA radiotelescopes are on the plains of Saint Augustine, about 60 miles west of Socorro. The mapped location is for the array operation center on the New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro. Most of the staff actually work in Socorro at the AOC, but there's nothing for visitors to do at the site in Socorro. At the... More 

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Socorro, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Worth the time.They want me to add more..but what can you say. Have had both self- guided and guided tours m

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Denver, CO
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

When you com over the hill from Socorro and the plains of St Augustine the array of 27 large radio dishes highlights the view. The visitor center is very good and the self guided tour gives you a very good explanation of what the VLA does. There is an admission now but low enough that it is very worthwhile

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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

Excellent side trip. Very educational and I learned a lot. Great place for kids of all. I enjoyed the self - guided tout, but only drawback was that there were no people to get questions answered.

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Missouri
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
14 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

The railroad that they use to move the dishes is amazing, and the dishes are awesome. A must see. The outdoor exhibits are great

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Uxbridge, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

The drive from Socorro to the VLA takes about 50 minutes and the vistas are amazing. Then, the VLA itself is mind boggling. We managed to stuff our brains with as much information as they could hold and were blown away by the scope of the research done there. It is not for young children but teens would get a... More 

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T
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
16 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 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
43 helpful votes 43 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
31 helpful votes 31 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
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 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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