Radio Telescope, one of 27, located in an adjustable "Y" arrangement on the Plains of Augustine, near Socorro, NM, USA

- Image ID: BGR4T0
W. Michael Wiggins / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: BGR4T0
On the Plains of San Augustin, the Very Large Array, is located outside of Magdalena, which is about fifty miles from Socorro, New Mexico. The Very Large Array stands at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m) above sea level. It is a component of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The observatory consists of 27 independent antennas, each of which has a dish diameter of 25 meters (82 feet) and weighs 209 metric tons (230 Short tons). The antennas are arrayed along the three arms of a Y-shape (each of which measures 21 km/13 miles long). Using the railroad tracks that follow each of these arms – and that, at one point, intersect with U.S. Route 60 at a level crossing – and a specially designed lifting locomotive, the antennas can be physically relocated to a number of prepared positions, allowing aperture synthesis interferometry with a maximum baseline of 36 km (22.3 miles): in essence, the array acts as a single antenna with that diameter
Location: Plain of San Augustine, New Mexico