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VLA | by snowpeak
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VLA

I found a brochure at the motel In Socorro about the Very Large Array, a national radiotelescope facility located about 45 miles west of town. I learned that they have guided tours on the first Saturday of each month. Since it was a Saturday morning, the first in December, I decided to drive out and take the tour. It turned out not to be very interesting to me.

 

The array consists of three arms of parabolic reflectors, with nine dishes in each arm. They are moveable along railroad tracks. The overall size of the array determines the angular resolution of the telescope. The facility has been in operation since the '70s and probably is outdated. They are building a larger and better-in-every-way facility in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

 

I have seen a time-lapse video taken at night of this array of dishes. You can see them turn as they track their target in the sky, following the star trails. I would like to go back some night and try to get that.

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Taken on December 1, 2012