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“Shock and Awe”

National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Socorro
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
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.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I would highly recommend a visit to the NRAO VLA to anyone interested in technology/radio astronomy. The visitor center is one of the better ones I have been to, with a great video discussing the technical details of the VLA along with exhibits and hands-on displays. The self-guided walking tour has many useful signs to explain things along the way. I usually don't comment on gift shops. but the one in the visitor center has some of the best prices for goodies. Enjoyed the visit!

Thank kbarofenon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 - 193 of 228 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2013

Amazing! Totally worth the drive. Awesome opportunity for photographs. The main center and museum is very interesting and informative. The shop has many souvenirs available at good prices.

Thank Bridget L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

This place is amazing! After arriving and seeing the large radio dishes firsthand you become more interested in the science and what goes on out here in the middle of nowhere! There is a self guided walking tour that is on flat level ground and very easy to do. The signs warning of snakes are kind of worrisome, but I didn't encounter any snakes the day I was there and it was rather warm. There's a very informative display indoors and a very small gift shop. Everyone on site is very knowledgeable and eager to talk about the facility. I'll come back again, even though it's quite a drive to get to for me. The dishes change position so sometimes they may be close or spaced farther apart, but you can check their website to see the lineup. On the walking tour there is one dish you can get close to and take photos. A very neat place and very photogenic! A must see!

Thank astrobeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

The 27 antennas of the Very Large Array, which work together as a single radio telescope, are huge--more than 80 feet in diameter and weighing about 200 tons! The visitor center has informative exhibits, but they are overwhelming for the non-scientist.

Thank Nancy505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

I love the big dishes as they put things into perspective, especially when they are clustered close together. The walking tour is terrific as is the museum. Love the gift shop.

Thank wildwoodsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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