VLA Radiotelescope Dishes. The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories.

- Image ID: GD9B43
VLA Radiotelescope Dishes. The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories.
Robert Burch / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: GD9B43
VLA Radiotelescope Dishes. The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter. The VLA is the most sensitive radio telescope ever, and, through interferometry, can resolve a golf ball-sized radio source 150 kilometers away (0.04 arcsec). The VLA is continually making new discoveries, including determining the composition of galaxies, passing comets, quasars, HII regions, and clusters of galaxies. The VLA is also used to receive the weak radio signals broadcast from interplanetary spacecraft.
Location: Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico