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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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  • 111
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    Very good
  • 5
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  • 1
Worth The Side Trip

You saw it in the movies now go see what it really is. So fascinating to even someone like me who does not understand what a black hole is.

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee
via mobile
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163 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 156: English reviews
Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

You saw it in the movies now go see what it really is. So fascinating to even someone like me who does not understand what a black hole is.

Thank PlannerTN
Farmington, Utah
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Drove out here to see the dishes that were in the movie 'Contact' first hand. Had a storm roll in while there, very neat. The visitor center has good exhibits and a small gift shop, because of the lightning storm I did not go to the outdoor self guided tour. If you are in the area, would be a stop... More 

Thank erixun
Level Contributor
56 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

They are listening to whispers across the galaxy. Worth the stop if you have any interest in the stars

Thank Larry F
Socorro, New Mexico
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

At night time you can see the headlights of a car coming at least six minutes before it passes you by at the travelers rest stop in front of the Observatory. There is a guided tour one day a month or you can go on a self guided tour. I spend the night there at the rest stop whenever I... More 

Thank 1233218
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Me and my family really injoyed the cool short film. We also liked the cool out side walk. My only complaint is that you may not have a phone. It has to be on airplane mode.

Thank Elliott B
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Very Large Array (VLA) Radio Telescope site west of Socorro NM is a great place to visit if you are at all interested in astronomy. If you have seen the movie "Contact" starring Jodie Foster, you will remember the VLA radio telescope site in the first part of the movie. The visitor center is small but has a nice... More 

Thank bruin1971
Level Contributor
193 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a pretty individual site and as such, I really wanted to work it into my road trip. I actually visited twice - the first time was mid-afternoon where I took the self-guided tour (no other tours were available at the time). It took me about 30 minutes to work my way round and I really liked the fact... More 

Thank Paul M
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Definitely worth the drive from Socorro to see these giant telescopes. The movie "Contact" was partially filmed out here. The education portion was informative and suitable for young and old audiences. The cost is only $6/person!

Thank Ammy M
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

These are pretty neat to see in person, it's about 45 minute drive from Socorro but a scenic drive. The weather was not good when we got there so we did the drive by in our car but I believe there is a visitor center and walking tour.

Thank Texbeachbum
Los Lunas, New Mexico
Level Contributor
52 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Always wanted to go here, and it was featured in the Jody Foster movie. The tour is super cool, they delight in answering questions, and give a sit-down lecture prior to the tour. Please turn your cell phones off, as they will interfere with ongoing projects, and call ahead, or check on line for tour times. Unbelievable.

Thank travelcatz1

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