Very Large Array Radio Telescope

Overview:

If you are looking for an interesting place to visit while in New Mexico, try visiting the Very Large Array Telescope. The radio telescope comprises 27 independent antennas in use at a given time plus one spare. It’s a place where scientists prob our galaxy and beyond. 

Adventure:

The Very Large Array (VLA) Telescope is a scientific tool that allows the exploration of space. The VLA is designed to explore far away galaxies, quasars, pulsars, supernovas, blak holes, and much more.

The Very Large Array Radio Telescope facility is a two-hour drive from Albuquerque, 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. 

Visitor Center 

The Visitor Center features an award-winning documentary narrated by Jodie Foster, plus exhibits describing radio astronomy and the VLA telescope. A self-guided walking tour features large, informative signs and takes you to the base of one of the giant dish antennas. A gift shop offers VLA souvenirs and educational materials.

The VLA site is now open to visitors Thursday – Sunday*, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
We are closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

  • Adults: $6
  • Kids: Free
  • Seniors: $5

Directions:

The Very Large Array Radio Telescope is a two hour drive from Albuquerque, 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico.

When driving west from Socorro:

  1. Travel through the small town of Magdalena and continue on US-60.
  2. Turn left onto NM-52 just west of mile marker 93.
  3. Drive 2.5 miles then turn right on NM-166 (Old Highway 60).
  4. Drive 1.6 miles and the VLA Visitor Center will be on your right.

When driving east from the Arizona border on US-60:

  1. Drive through the town of Datil. Just past mile marker 90 you will cross rail road tracks that mark the North arm of the array.
  2. Continue east on US-60 past mile marker 92 and turn right onto NM-52.
  3. Drive 2.5 miles and then turn right on NM-166 (Old Highway 60).
  4. Drive 1.6 miles and the VLA Visitor Center will be on your right.

References and Links:

Quaking Aspen Campground

Quaking Aspen Campground is a quiet little campground located about 15 minutes south of I-4 and 30min from Gallup, New Mexico. The campground offers all the amenities, including restrooms, fire pits, tables, and trash can. It’s a great place to stay to get away from the I-40.

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