Tag Archives: Observatory

The Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope at sunrise

The VLA is a collection of 27 radio antennas located at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory site in Socorro, N.M. Each antenna in the array measures 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter and weighs about 230 tons. The Y-shaped array can be arranged into four different configurations: A, B, C or D, depending on the distance between the antennas. The VLA is an interferometer, which means that the data from each antenna can be combined electronically so that the array effectively functions as one giant antenna. Dedicated in 1980, the VLA is used by astronomers from around the world to study everything from black holes to planetary nebulae.

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