Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Very Large Array

When driving across the plains between Magdalena and Pie Town, New Mexico you will see some white specks on the landscape out in front of you. At first you might think you are seeing things, maybe a mirage of some sort out in this wild ranching country. Then you will start seeing the actual radio telescopes and think you are seeing something from outer space. Maybe it's a movie set? which it has been in several movies, the most well-known being Contact with Jody Foster. Finally you will see the turn off for the visitor's center and soon find yourself at the what is called The Very Large Array. It is the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. It started back in the 1950's and has been used my many universities as well as those in New Mexico and the US government. The visitor's center explained about everything and was very interesting but was a little bit to technical for me. There were 29 of the large telescopes, and they sit on old, unused railroad tracks and can be moved some when it is though they came pick up sound waves in better places. If you are interested they have a large website just google Very Large Array. I was interested in the fact that the area around the Array is almost like a wildlife refuge and many animals and wild flowers can be seen. I saw several hawks and a couple of antelope.

1 comment:

  1. We stopped there last summer. VERY interesting! I remember the poster of Jodi Foster!