A la vey, I have to admit, I had never been to the VLA
until last week. I even work with astronomers and work at a place with a big giant planetarium
! I just never seemed to have the time to go.
My good friend is the outreach educator for the NRAO/VLA
and invited my daughter and me for a behind the scene tour. Oh. My. God. It was sooooo wonderful and cool and interesting and fun. We got to see how the scopes work
and are made. Then we saw how the cryogenic chambers
cool down the energy received by the telescope to decrease interference and static
. We even saw "mission control"
- the place the average tourist doesn't get to see. We saw how the computers navigate the scopes and receive information. The scopes were in the D configuration
when we were there.
It's a quick drive
out there, so take a day off and go have some fun!
Here are a few pictures that we took.
Telescope in the birdbath position