Karl Jansky Very Large Array


Sunday,  July 31st  

The VLA Visitor Center requires that all visitors be vaccinated for COVID-19. Each visitor must complete an on-line form concerning their COVID-19 vaccination status no later than 24 July 2022. The form is at https://submit.jotform.com/220895559509167.


  • $70: Includes Tour, Transportation, Picnic Box Lunch.

    Busses depart Embassy Suites at 9:00 am. Return approximately 6:00 pm.

  • $90:  As above plus extended night observing session in Magdalena. Includes a dinner at a local restaurant.

    Departs Embassy Suites at 10:30 a.m. and returns approximately 1 am.

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VLA: Sunrise breaks over the Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico.

Field Trip to the Karl Jansky Very Large Array
(plus optional Night Observing Session at the Magdalena Astronomical Lyceum)

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.  Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter.  The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36 km (22 miles) across, with the equivalent sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.  Its iconic dish antennas have been used as backdrops in many movies, most notably, Contact.  The visit will include a tour of the observatory’s control room.  A small museum, outdoor displays, and gift shop are available for self-guided exploration.

Find out more about visiting the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array.

Schedule for the Tours (pdf format).

The Astronomical Lyceum is a growing collection of antique telescopes and astronomy library being assembled by TAAS member John Briggs.  It includes telescopes from around the world, some with fascinating histories.

Those choosing the Night Observing Session option will visit the Lyceum in the town of Magdalena to study the telescopes, browse the library, and have lunch. After visiting the VLA, this tour will eat  and then enjoy a brief tour and observing session at a private observatory featuring a 40 Dobsonian near Pie Town. expected time to arrive back in Albuquerque should be between midnight and 1:00 am

This 5-minute video describes what can be seen at the VLA visitor center and Lyceum.

Read an article about Magdalena from the March 2016 issue of The Reflector.