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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
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 5
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We drive past this every time we are headed into New Mexico

The last time we stopped here we had our grandson with us and it was a Saturday. They have tours on Saturday and you will have to check when they are going on when you go there... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Central Arizona, Arizona
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178 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 171: English reviews
Central Arizona, Arizona
Level Contributor
144 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The last time we stopped here we had our grandson with us and it was a Saturday. They have tours on Saturday and you will have to check when they are going on when you go there. It is an interesting site. It definitely holds the attention of young people. Expect to spend 45 minutes here without the tour and... More 

Thank pigseyepeg
Ipswich, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

While visiting family in Socorro, we took a day trip out to see this amazing sight of radio telescopes stretching across the vast open plains. There are indoor exhibits as well as an informative walking tour. We packed a picnic lunch to extend our visit to take in the scenery using a sheltered picnic bench at the observatory. Well worth... More 

Thank Beverly P
Level Contributor
679 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Good to visit on a nice clear day in October. It can be windy. There is a good video explaining this radio observatory. There is a very small gift shop where one pays ($5 each for seniors). This allows one to walk on the self-guided path, with various signs along the way. Sometimes there are guided tours. There is also... More 

Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

If you are curious about SETI and the latest info on contacting ET, you have to make this a stop! Very interesting museum and various displays. Gift shop on location. Short movie informative on the VLA, (very large array). These things are huge, over 200 tons each. Seen the movie "Contact", with Jodie Foster? ...well, you're at the right place.

Thank buffalofeathers
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
223 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A short detour on our drive from El Paso to Flagstaff got us here. Well worth the change of road route with spectacular scenery, long straight roads and a lot of radio astronemy dishes. Very interesting to see the rail tracks they are mounted on and the way they can be moved for their job or maintenance. An interest in... More 

Thank nsander219
Raton, New Mexico
Level Contributor
79 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Located about 40 minutes from Socorro, this is a must see. We visited during one of their open houses so there was no entrance fee. We took both the guided and self guided tours. The gift shop is well stocked and worth taking a look.One of our presenters was the current facility director and another was the past director. Despite... More 

Thank Peter A
Borger TX
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Awesome experience. We will return when the tour is offered and we have sufficient energy to take it. That said, the visitor's center gives an excellent overview that explains how these telescopes are contributing to everyday life, as well as how the telescopes work and are moved. We visited this due to my friend's interest. I was not sure how... More 

Thank janeaK9145SR
Greater London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Highly recommend a visit to this stunning facility. Amazing scenery and a great exhibit in the museum.

Thank HappyTraveller569
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
131 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Long way from anywhere! But worth the drive - very well organized to enable "self" guided tour - we allocated an hour and ended up spending two - really enjoyed the visit.

Thank Fdelidude
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2016

My husband is very 'm much a science fiction and high tech person, retired from microelectronics engineering. Once I told him we could reinforce the VLA in our vacation planning he was enthused. Yes it isn't exactly on a direct route but worth the detour. Well done self guided tours. Excellent film explanation of design and function of the radio... More 

Thank LS M

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