Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Very Large Array (VLA)




Very Large Array
A radio interferometer located near Socorro, New Mexico. It consists of 27 dish antennas, each 25 meters in diameter and weighing 230 tons, spaced along a Y-shaped track with two arms 21 km long and the other 18.9 km long. It was well established that the VLA had the resolving power to produce radio images of circumstellar dust disks but, until 1993, it had no receivers that could operate at the required wavelength. Such receivers were installed in 1993 and 1994 on 13 of the antenna, enabling the VLA to show 10 times more detail in this part of the spectrum than any previous observations. The VLA has the resolution of a single antenna 36 km across and the sensitivity of a dish 130 m across.


Related category

   • OBSERVATORIES AND TELESCOPES