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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 50 Miles West of Socorro, NM, Off U.S. Hwy. 60, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: +1 575-835-7243
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio...

This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio telescope, one of four major telescopes operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The VLA is the most scientifically productive ground-based telescope in the world. Our visitor center and interpretive film will get you oriented to the purpose and function of the telescope, and a self-guided tour path will take you up close to one of the VLA's 27 230-ton dish antennas.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
  • 5
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Nighttime Photo Shoot

We went for a night sky photo shoot, a workshop during the Festival of the Cranes. It's not usually open after sunset. Since we wanted go go anyway, even during the day, this was... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
San Diego, California
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184 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 176: English reviews
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We went for a night sky photo shoot, a workshop during the Festival of the Cranes. It's not usually open after sunset. Since we wanted go go anyway, even during the day, this was a two-fer. We went in the afternoon, stayed through sunset (which anyone can), then attended the workshop. Fascinating information and scientific work being done there.

Thank MAnderson_10
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
65 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The Very Large Array is the distribution and periodic redistribution of 27, 82 foot radio receivers which are collectively used to record and process long waved radio waves from space. The supercomputer which processes the data is one of the worlds largest. A technical exhibit unlike any other.

Thank Andrew W
Texarkana, Texas
Level Contributor
84 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you have any interest in astrology or radio astronomy this is a wonderful place to visit. It’s off the beaten path so you have to plan to visit the facility but it was a very enjoyable experience. Take the time to watch the film; it offers a good insight to the facility. We’ve visited it twice and we enjoyed... More 

Thank Traveler2708
Prince George, Canada
Level Contributor
89 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We spent a couple of hours at this facility. This is stuff you only dream of. If you enjoyed the movie 'Contact' with Jodi Foster, you'll love this site. We watched the museum movie, did the small museum and then walked outside as part of the self-guided tour. The weather was perfect and we could see for miles. Out of... More 

Thank mickey448
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016 via mobile

Was heading to the eagle ranch restaurant from Socorro and stopped. Great view and a quick pit stop for anyone.

Thank Zedrick D
Central Arizona, Arizona
Level Contributor
146 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016

The last time we stopped here we had our grandson with us and it was a Saturday. They have tours on Saturday and you will have to check when they are going on when you go there. It is an interesting site. It definitely holds the attention of young people. Expect to spend 45 minutes here without the tour and... More 

Thank pigseyepeg
Ipswich, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

While visiting family in Socorro, we took a day trip out to see this amazing sight of radio telescopes stretching across the vast open plains. There are indoor exhibits as well as an informative walking tour. We packed a picnic lunch to extend our visit to take in the scenery using a sheltered picnic bench at the observatory. Well worth... More 

Thank Beverly P
Level Contributor
682 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016

Good to visit on a nice clear day in October. It can be windy. There is a good video explaining this radio observatory. There is a very small gift shop where one pays ($5 each for seniors). This allows one to walk on the self-guided path, with various signs along the way. Sometimes there are guided tours. There is also... More 

Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2016 via mobile

If you are curious about SETI and the latest info on contacting ET, you have to make this a stop! Very interesting museum and various displays. Gift shop on location. Short movie informative on the VLA, (very large array). These things are huge, over 200 tons each. Seen the movie "Contact", with Jodie Foster? ...well, you're at the right place.

Thank buffalofeathers
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
246 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2016

A short detour on our drive from El Paso to Flagstaff got us here. Well worth the change of road route with spectacular scenery, long straight roads and a lot of radio astronemy dishes. Very interesting to see the rail tracks they are mounted on and the way they can be moved for their job or maintenance. An interest in... More 

Thank nsander219

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?